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All Posts by Comaf

All Posts by Comaf

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Originally posted by Beatnik59

The title line is how I felt when I played Star Wars Galaxies, back a year after launch in 2004.  That game didn't last long, but the game world was so rich, so immersive, that even logging on and observing what went on was fun in itself.

It wasn't for a lack of things to do.  There was plenty to do in SWG, every day, but even when you felt like doing nothing, you didn't want to log off.

Stuff would happen all around you.  Gunfights would erupt, people were RPing all over the place in spatial, and the galaxy would be in motion (market activity, entertainers entertaining, pick up groups and loners in far off locales).  This was the kind of game where something interesting could happen at any time, and you didn't want to miss out.  You'd do your own thing, just hanging out, and BOOM...you'd get a text and it was on!

This kind of interest in staying logged on is rare these days.  The only other time I experienced it was in CoH around Atlas Park and Pocket D.  And I don't know if it was because the players were different, the games were designed differently, or that the environments were more conducive to staying logged on.

But in today's games, I don't feel the same vibe.  If I'm not doing something, there seems to be no reason to stay logged on just to "hang out"...these are not games which encourage you to hang out.  They encourage you to keep on grinding or questing or acting in some way to exhaustion and log out.  It is as if the games are saying, "if you ain't mashing buttons in combat, you shouldn't be here."  But what if I don't want to mash buttons in combat all the time?  Sometimes I feel like that and I want something interesting to experience in the game without it all having to rely on me navigating a life and death struggle every second.  Is it wrong to want that in an MMO?

So correct.  A poster after you stated that EQ could as well be revamped with a new graphics engine and be brought back - and that it's mind boggling as to why this doesn't happen.

 

Let's add Asheron's Call, Dark Age of Camelot, et al., to that list. 

 

The past decade of mmo video games are made by corporately driven cultures - not by folks who love the immersive  feel of walking through a fantasy novel as a hero.  Heck, even most players I meet have no idea what this means because it hasn't been done for so long - and therefore, the industry that has initially betrayed its own creative freedom, has spoon fed a generation of gamers - complete crap.  In response, gamers smile as they eat the crap, by the spoonful, assuming that's as good as this will ever get.

 

I thought ESO would break the mold, but they copy pasted race, class and concept across their plastic, tri-realm e-sport.  So now, waiting on Camelot Unchained for my last great hope. 

It would be nice to be able to fight someone in pvp that didn't have my same class title, race and similar build (minus a bit of this with a bit more of that).

 

These games have zero imagination for those who have DAoC expectations - where you could literally define a realm by their races and classes and thusly, uniqueness from one another (like in the fancy CGI videos Zenimax produced).

 

Shame the artist's imagination is as usual superior to the lackluster mirrored watered down immersion effect of copy paste. 

Originally posted by orbitxo

new solo PvE zone, Wrothgar. (snow zone!!!)

this made me download client again- will wait for this to be released- and resub.

 

SOLO PVE IN ESO WOW imagine that!  Imagine how rare it is to do something in pve that is solo in this game (boggles).  My god - when will this crap die.

Originally posted by tommygunzII

I thrive on teamwork and I'm hoping there is a game out there for me. Played FFXIV for a while and may have to go back unless I can't find another team based game.

My favorite is FFXI and I would rather wait and party than solo grind, to give a broad description. Any suggestions are appreciated.

Going to have to go OLD school on you:

 

1.  Dark Age of Camelot

2.  Shadowbane

3. EQ

Soloing is possible in both...but it's horrible inefficient.  Whereas, all the nonsense so called mmo's are nothing more than glorified chat rooms while you solo quest yourself into mind numbing boredom.  ESO is a great example of this craptastic viewpoint on what a game should be like.

 

 

Originally posted by ElRenmazuo

Imagine this

A world that takes place before the great flood in a wasteland Earth destroyed by the violence of humanity

Remnants of advanced civilizations and their technology scattered throughout the world

The mainland would be one big super continent

Places like the Land of Mu, Shambhala, Atlantis and other places of legends would be explorable

Creatures and other types of beings would exist that never made it through the flood

Beings such as the Nephilim (human/angel hybrid) and fallen angels both with good and evil intentions

Some fallen angels would be posing as false Gods to try to control humanity, Gods such as Odin, Zeus, Ameterasu and such

Players would be Humans struggling to survive in this world and will meet characters like Gilgamesh for example.

 

Well off the top of my head lets say the fallen angels thought mankind science and technology and to harness the power of their own spirit (similar to harnessing your Chi like martial artists but on a much greater level).  And lets say mankind created devices called soul-harvesters from what what they learned from the fallen angels.  The devices are also remnants from civilizations long ago and are spread through out the world and humans with a strong level of spirit can attune them selves to these.

These types of technology were the humans attempt to become as powerful as the angels and humanity became too corrupted as they were not ready for such things like handing a 5 year old with a gun.  There were human against human conflict, human against angel conflicts, and angel against angel conflicts and there were also the Nephilim that basically got cought up between those conflicts. They were created by the angels to serve as servants and humans started using them as slaves.  But small groups of them went into an exodus to escape and live away from them while the ones who didnt make it died off in the violence of humanity and angels.  In the games present time they are scattered and rare to find.  Now fallen angels have lost much of their power due to extended time away from grace, but they are still very formidable and many of them were killed during those conflicts.

In the games present time some of those fallen angels still want to control humanity and they saw this as a great time to do it because humanity has become desperate and starving with no real civilizations or the technology they once had.  So these fallen angels started posing as false Gods to them offering salvation and because they gained spiritual power from the humans worshiping them.

But some fallen angels who are very few in numbers want to repent for what they did to the world and learned the error of their ways so they want to stop those false gods but need the help of humans. But they saw that much of humanity has lost their spiritual power and are no match for the false gods and the abominations that inhabit the wasted earth.  So they re-activate the soul harvesters which still contained many souls of humans from the past, so they finally free them.  You the player emerge from these and are very weak at first and lost much your memories but through out your journeys will gain your former strength back.

 

 

 

 

 

 

While it's impossible to create a good mmorpg with the kind of investors you get these days (unless it's some quest grind dummed down nonsense)...you could instead take your great ideas (and they are very good I believe) and write a series of novels.  Perhaps, after publishing the first few, you could work with a graphic artist team and make a graphic novel.  From there, you can try to work your way into the movie industry.

 

")

Originally posted by ArcheAge2014

archeage is going to kick ass for sure, its as close as ultima online.

 

The OP's name is archeAge....his join date shows a typical developer's lack of being a part of the industry by hiring someone to spam nonsense by joining websites in the last few months and writing spam.

 

Wake up people.  And oh, I think you all have - why he compared an Asian grinder to Ultima (shivers).

Originally posted by bartliolio

While there are plenty of things that can be praised about the strides games have made the past 5-10 years, not all changes have been for the better. What are some features or systems in MMORPGs that you absolutely loathe?

For me: Daily quests that are mandatory for progression.

I am not the type of person to read a novel, watch a movie, or play a game more than once-- so I hate when an MMO asks me to do the same quest  chain over and over again. I would rather mindlessly kill a monster 100x then have to repeat a quest multiple times.

The forced questline.

 

IT BLOWS MY MIND that so many folks have no idea that this is not at all necessary.  IT BLOWS MY MIND that so many folks feel that they are in an mmo when they solo quest one grind after another. 

 

You want to build a community?  Get 8 people in a group (developers MUST reward each slot taken in a group with 10% bonus exp), and go blow up mobs - especially in a open world pvp zone (for even more xp) or give other rewards for a pve zone (plus the xp).

 

This type of leveling (a) teaches you how to really use your character in a group (b)  builds knowledge of other players around you, i.e., community (c) is plain fun.

 

But but, says the developers, you group for dungeons!  Wonderful, I say, now make it possible to group for the level grind as well and watch your community explode.

Originally posted by Azoth
Originally posted by Convo
Originally posted by Azoth
Originally posted by JayFiveAlive
Originally posted by Azoth

So did you somehow managed to see those contracts ? If so you already should know every detail and probably don't need an explanation from the man.

Again if those people have not been paid, can't they prosecute ?

My wife freelance writes on the side a lot and has actually had to do this because her and around 20 other writers were not paid. The company just never sent their checks. Finally one of the unpaid folks purchased to get a class-action lawsuit against the company. My wife had to chip-in money to help pay for the lawyer to actually do the class-action lawsuit. 1.5 years later, they won... they did not get the full amount, but after the chip-in cost for the lawyer, she got about half.

Long story-short, in this case it may not even be worth the people's time and additional money in hopes of getting funds paid out and it most certainly would not be the agreed upon amount in the contract due to legal fees and generally is a settlement, assuming this is the issue with the ex-Devs.

I certainly commend Brad for trying to speak out and clear his name and the situation. I want to see his game made, I do. I am an EQ vet, Vanguard vet, and p99 fan. My trust is long lost and I personally wouldn't donate to him or his cause, but I would personally buy his game if it ends up being even half as good as either EQ or Vanguard (years after release) was.

 

 

But that's exactly what I am saying. If there was wrong doing, isn't it at least as important to just prove it and show it to the public. The reward for winning this is much more than the check you could get.

Not sure why I'm even entertaining you at this point but for starters.. A lot of these Devs were strapped for cash and already behind on bills.. They have priorities.. You know like playing rent and taking care of the family.  Even tho they felt ripped off by Brad, the best thing they could do, and did.. Was go find work to support themselves.

Low income people don't have free prosecution options in the US ?

A rep for Edward Jones saw my mother was mentally ill.  He convinced her to give him her entire estate (1.4 million).  In her last days dying of cancer she was still convinced he was going to help her only son and grandkids (me and my kids).  But he never gave up a penny. 

 

I couldn't find a single law firm that would help prosecute this guy.  Out of a dozen calls and messages...only 1 lawyer was kind enough to tell me that while I most certainly had a case, that it would cost me a bit of money to get it going.

 

Low income people rarely have options in regards to free prosecution.  Sadly.

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You guys posted this on the 4th of July?  C'mon, man, a bit lame, isn't it?  We aren't all 14 in a basement.  Those of us with families should have been nowhere near a computer on the 4th but with our families.

 

 

Pretty cruddy deal if you ask me.

Originally posted by Generol

I don't understand why this is and has always been hard for you, Brad. The questions being asked of you are simple and one would think any "CCO" would have a standard spreadsheet (at the very least) of what monies went where and to who. You take simple questions and you turn your responses into long winded, drawn out, and excuse laden double talk fests that, typically, give half answers. 

The real bottom line is simple (as far as I see it) and that is this is you saying these things over, and over, and over again when nobody else comes forward to verify or corroborate your stories. This type of behavior by you is not new and was also taking place during Vanguard. Before Vanguard was released I had faith you would deliver a solid title but now, after everything you have been connected to and all your constant excuses/issues, I trust nothing you say. This is not a hate response and this is not done out of any animosity toward you as I could care less about you or your life but, rather, your actions have directly impacted the lives of others in the past (in a negative and conniving way) and that seems to be taking place again. 

Why you don't just step up, like an actual man, and clear the air is beyond me. The only thing I see coming from this "project" is broken promises, false hopes, misappropriated funds and people falling into the trap that hurts their life in some manner. 

THE Generol, as in Varking server VGSoH?

Originally posted by Aradune
Originally posted by MrMelGibson
Originally posted by Aradune
Originally posted by MrMelGibson
Originally posted by azzamasin
I sincerely hope this project gets off the ground not because I want to play I or I think it will be successful but because I think it will show the world and more importantly show the old school EQ playerbase that it was in fact their rose tinted glasses that clouded their judgment.  But some may stick around but for the rest of us I'm hopeful that some elements of old school MMO design should be left in past.

The only problem is that I doubt these people would actually admit to the fact afterwards.  But, I do agree with you.  I don't really have a big opinion on the guy.  From what i've read though.  I have to say he is a shady guy.  

 

Put aside Vanguard and everything else for a second.  The fact that he had the balls to pay himself a 3 month advance.  Yet, not pay his employees anything is pretty strange and almost criminal.  Whoever supports this guy and his projects in the future.  I hope you think about what his done to people in the past.

I haven't posted much on this, but this more recent rumor that I paid my team 'nothing' needs to be addressed:

1. The original team were absolutely compensated.  They were contract workers, and each month they would be assigned tasks and the amount they would receive in compensation was right there, in their contract, as an exhibit.  They knew how much money they were going to make for that month.

2. The vast majority of the money we raised via crowdfunding went to the team.  I am not going to post dollar amounts in regards to what I or anyone on the team received.

3. We worked on this game from September 2013 until the disagreement re: funds occurred in April, 2014.  So the amount in total they received and I received was for 7-8 months of work.  There was no '3 month advance'.  I compensated myself for that 7-8 months of work and I compensated the team for that 7-8 months of work.  They were paid for getting done what was in their contract exhibit and for the work done prior to having any money (pre-crowdfunding).  

4. Additionally, the founding members (the majority of the original team) received between 4% and 10% equity each in the company via stock.  

I regret that there was a disagreement over who got how much money and that this caused an exodus of much of the original team.  That said, the team I've re-built since April is getting even more work done, more quickly.  That's not to say the original team didn't work hard -- most of them did -- but most of them also were doing contract work on the side, or even worked a full time position and then worked on Pantheon in the evenings.  The majority of the team I've more recently assembled don't need nearly as much money to live off of and therefore most of them put most of the day into Pantheon and not other projects.

Lastly, I'd like to address team composition.  The original team were all MMO industry vets.  The team I have now, not so much.  I have had great success in the past building teams that are a mixture of wise industry vets and hungry newbies.  Right now I mostly have newbies, and that is in some ways a disadvantage (and in other ways, an advantage).  But the goal right now is to continue development and to fill some additional positions (for example, a CEO would be great).  Then, in a few months, re-start the quest for angel investors.  Once we have funding, I have a long list of industry vets who have contacted me and let me know they are ready to join VR as soon as I'm able to bring them on as employees.  So while we do lack the industry vets right now, that will no longer be the case once we bring in the first round of funding that we need.  

In the meantime, please check out the details, screenshots, and movies we post on our Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/pantheonrotf?focus_composer=true&ref_type=bookmark every 1-2 weeks and witness the measurable forward progress we are making with the team I have now.  

thanks,

-Brad McQuaid

I'm glad to hear you respond.  I'm also glad your game is still in development.  What I would like to ask you Mr. McQuaid is what is your response to what your ex-employees have said on facebook and I suppose other sites.  Are these mere rumors?  Or is there some truth to what has been expressed?

 

~Thanks

I honestly don't have the time or energy to keep track of who said what and when, so you'd have to be more specific. There are certainly rumors, half-truths and hyperbole out there and most of what I do come across isn't directly from ex-team members but rather from others who have taken it upon themselves to continue this crusade against Pantheon.   There are also dollar amounts being mentioned that really should not be due to privacy and signed contracts and NDAs.  This puts me at a disadvantage because I should not be talking about specific dollar amounts or who was paid and how much. 

The dispute was directly related to how much money I received vs the rest of the team. In the vast majority of cases a corporation does not reveal salaries or contract payment amounts to their employees or contractors, especially not executive compensation.  But when I was asked  for details as to where every dollar went by a team member, after being accused of taking far more than I did, I decided to provide that information to the contractor, who then released those details to the other contractors.  Some of the contractors were unhappy as to my compensation and put pressure on the entire team to walk away from the project with the intent that the project then die. 

Quite often when a start-up company is put together, the management team will take a small salary or no salary until the company gets going, finds funding, etc. This is what I did when I founded Sigil back in 2002. I took no salary and, rather, put $75k of my own money into Sigil to keep it going while we were evaluating publishers/investors. This was something I could do because I'd recently made quite a bit of cash in the sale of Verant to SOE in 2001. 

This second time around, with Visionary Realms, I was not n the same situation financially. I'd not received a paycheck for 8 months and was not sitting on a nice financial cushion like I was back in 2002.   In April of this year we were very close to closing a funding deal. My debt was higher than ever and bills were piling up. So I decided to pay myself for my involvement with Pantheon just as I had been paying the contractors.  I do not feel the amount was unusual given my position in the company, what my name cache brought to the game, and given that I'd not received any money for eight months.  That said, in 20/20 hindsight, I should have waited for the funding to hit the bank, no matter how confident I was that it would. Then, if it fell through, and it did, I could have compensated myself for less money. 

I regret what happened, but even had I taken less or none, we still could not have lasted much longer without a first round of funding.  I was also disappointed to see some of the team pressure everyone to walk away from the project, to leave their work behind, their stock behind, and their passion for the project behind.  I and a couple of team members decided to do whatever it took to keep the project and its vision alive.  We just couldn't let that be the end. We felt and still do feel that there is a very real demand and interest in a game like Pantheon, a game with the courage to be niche and to have a defined target audience of MMO players who want a group focused and challenging game.  A game that wouldn't cost 10s of millions to make because it was trying to be all things to all people. 

When this was announced, that Pantheon was not dead and would somehow continue forward, this really upset some people. I don't know if it was some former team members or just their friends or some combination of the two. Ultimately I will likely never know and it probably doesn't matter. It was truly objectionable when financial and other private corporate information was leaked, again in violation of contract and NDA.  But at the same time it didn't make sense to pursue things legally. I hoped the situation was over and we could start re-building the team and project, looking ahead and not behind. 

But that wasn't to be. Rumors and half-truths were spread in a determined fashion. Interviews were done. Reddit discussions were seeded.  Bottom-line, a small but determined group put a lot of effort into spreading half-truths about me, the company, and the game. Reputations were and are tarnished. Under no circumstances did this group want Pantheon to go forward.  I truly wish that the passion that fueled this effort had instead been good cause to stay on the project, despite being upset with me. Anger and resentment seems to have overpowered the extreme passion and dedication it takes to make an MMO. 

My reaction has been to keep Pantheon alive no matter what and to ride the storm out. Instead of joining the debate and argument, especially when it got ugly, I focused on building a new team. It so happened that I had a friend who had been working on a religious niche MMO for years using a volunteer only team. I tapped into her knowledge of volunteer and remote team building and much to my amazement was able to start reassembling a team far more rapidly than I thought possible. She knew people who knew people and we now have a larger team than before, full of people with energy and a strong desire to be part of an MMO team and to do so with little to no compensation and to do so remotely.  I was skeptical at first, being accustomed to funded projects and a job site where we all met every morning and worked together and in person. 

My friend and now co-lead and Pantheon Producer, Laurene, has done the amazing and we have a very solid team of lore writers, world builders, artists, programmers, IT people, etc, who have joined the new team. I purposely avoided the debate and arguing and focused instead on team building and starting a real development process again.  Some of the dust has settled and some has not. I've now made this post and the one before it to address some flat out misinformation (that I never paid the team) and I do so at the risk this re-ignites the negativity and bad feelings and the character assassinations.  But my gut told me to go for it.  To test the waters, so to speak. 

Regardless, though, I am not returning to be the Pantheon evangelist at this time (which is the wrong time).  I am far too busy and involved both managing and working on the Pantheon project.  Here's what's really important that you may not know if you haven't been following the game, maybe because you thought it was dead or something:

Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen is indeed fully back in development mode. We are focussing on the MMO foundation that needs to be in place upon which you build the world, implement game logic, create content, etc. The game is now truly client-server. When you run the game you log in or create an account, select a character, and then enter the world in a zone called Halnir's Pass.  Your game client is connected to a world server and a zone server on a server box we control. You can move around, see other players, and chat.  Your movement and status are controlled by the server; in other words, the server us authoritative. You can then exit Halnir's Pass and zone into a labyrinths of caves deep underground. This is actual zoning and you leave the control of one zone server's process and are transferred to another. Your persistent data is being kept track of by the world server, your actual data being saved to an MS SQL database. 

We have been revising and extending the lore and story behind the game. We should have a world map in the next couple of weeks. We've settled on the races and classes we want to have at launch. We've decided that there will be nine playable races to start out with and three starting cities on three separate continents.  We want players to be able to find their friends quickly in Pantheon because this MMO is all about grouping and working together and playing your role effectively as a team player. You'll be able to teleport between the three starting cities with ease, again to facilitate grouping, guilds, and the player community in general.   That said, the game is also about exploration and adventure, so don't assume there will be teleports out in the rest if the world.  Keeping your group together and replacing one group member with another when the first has to leave will be very doable. Teleporting around the open world so you can avoid danger, not so much. 

Recently we've been growing our world building team and we currently have four on that team. We will need more, but so far so good. They are using World Machine along with other tools that work well with our engine, which is Unity 3D.  Using this tech and tools has rapidly accelerated development in many ways.  Ultimately what it allows us to do is to build the game in the sequence and order that makes sense from an MMO development standpoint. In 1996 when we started work on EverQuest, this was not possible. In 2002 when we began work on Vanguard, this was not possible.  In the past much of the team was gated much of the time. MMO projects would begin with lots of discussion and documentation, usually far more than what was truly beneficial, because the designers and artists we're waiting for and gated by programming. You had to wait for a display, even a simple one. You had to wait for the engine to exist to the point where you could actually build a zone and run through it. You had to wait on even a simple UI because it really wasn't that simple. You had to wait for real character models to at least be initially designed before you could enter a zone and run around.  

Bottom line, the tech of the day forced you to implement your game NOT in the order that made sense.  What is really the stuff you want working first?  It should be the aspects of the game that are game defining and what sets your game apart, what's unique or key to the vision behind the game. With Pantheon, that's adventure and combat, followed by item acquisition, with important features like character customization and presentation coming just about last.  Note I said it was important. Just because it doesn't make sense to implement something until much later by no means makes that feature or tech or mechanic less important. 

But you do need to identify the features and mechanics of the game that are fundamental to the games success.  With Pantheon, much like EQ1, Vanguard, etc,, as mentioned, it's all about adventure and combat. If exploring the world is boring and if fighting a group of mobs mundane, then the game has failed regardless of how good it looks or how realistically your avatar is rendered.  The problem in the past was that you couldn't really log in, explore, and do battle until, say, 3 or more years into a 5 year development cycle.  Sure, you could write up detailed low level design documents.  Sure, you could create an intricate and detailed world in Campaign Cartograoher.  But you couldn't play it In-game.  You had to wait and wait on tech and tools before you had the opportunity to really play the game and make changes and tweaks. 

Today, in 2014, that's all changed. With Unity and all of the plug-ins and tools and tech you can rapidly get to the point where you are really working on the true game itself. That's why, if you have been watching announcements and screen shots and movies since April, you are seeing a pre-alpha game that seems to be missing things you might have expected to be there.   Again, with Pantheon, the core of the game is adventure and combat.  So the plan to get from point A (starting real development) to point B (adventure and combat) is to implement only what we MUST to get there.  The game must be client-server.  The game's servers must be authoritative (so hacking is difficult). You must be able to log into the server and then choose a character and enter the game. You need to be able to travel from one zone to another (adventure and exploration). You need to be able to see other players, communicate with them, and then group with them. You've got to be able to create mobs, assign them characteristics, put them into an encounter, place that encounter in the world, and then have the zone server keep track of them, tell your client to display them, etc. And then you need to be able to fight them. You need to be able to create abilities and spells, and assign them to player characters and NPCs.  And, finally, you need tuning knobs, allowing you to adjust abilities, levels, defense and offensive values, preferably in real time.  

That's pretty much it, although I'm sure I forgot a detail here and there.  Are there other aspects of the game that are also important, and maybe even essential?  Of course. How about items and looting?  How about different modes of travell?  How about how exactly you level and progress?  GUI? Inventory?  Character creation?  Character appearance and customization?  All of those are super important and they need to be worked on and made impressive and polished.  But we don't need them now.  Our goal is to make adventure, exploration, and combat working pre-alpha.   That gives us pre-alpha, alpha, and beta to make what's fundamental to Pantheon is polished, balanced, configurable, tweak able, and, wait for it:  FUN. 

And that is why I'm so crazy excited about this game and this development process.  We're going to be grouping up, exploring, and killing mobs in a matter if months, not years.  Let me segue back to what we've accomplished and do a quick recap. We have real client-server, so I can log in, choose a character, and enter the world. I can interact with other players, albeit primitively. I can see them and chat, but not group up. I can travel from a zone to another.  The tools, plug-ins, and tech needed to create an outdoor or indoor zone have been chosen and implemented (thanks Monty!). So what's next?  Well, we have to get two separate paths in production and not gated by someone or some thing.  First, if adventure and exploration are fundamental, then we need a detailed world map with cities, dungeons, points of interest, climates, etc laid out using a vector based app (campaign Cartograoher) so we can zoom in, add more detail, and then zoom some more. Then we need to break that world up into zones and decide what zone connects to what other zone and where. Then we need small design docs describing the zone with text and pictures if possible.  Finally the world builder has his map and design doc and he or she can start actually creating the zone using the documented procedures and plug-ins and tools and tech. And if you want a huge world, then you want an army of world builders working in parallel, hopefully not gating each other. What about the art assets that go into the zone?  Well, here's where we have a huge advantage again that didn't exist in 1996 or 2002:   We have the unity store where we can purchase already made art assets.  Are we going to ship the game full of purchased assets?  Of course not. But, and this is key, the world builder is not gated by the art team, waiting on assets to be created in Maya so he or she can then plug them into their zone. In fact, even though the funding is not there to hire those artists yet, the world builders can proceed and make measurable forward progress. Again, where are we at? We have identified the plug-ins, tools, and tech that work with Unity and built one outdoor zone and one indoor dungeon zone. This process has been documented as well. And we have 4-5 world builders who have begun their first zone. And the map and zone write-ups have begun, but they're not where they should be.  Hey, just keeping it real. 

Back to the game.  We've logged in and we are exploring and zoning. Next we need to be able to create mobs, define zones, and then create encounters. Encounters are defined by one or more mobs and have various attributes. Once you've made the mobs, zone definition,  and encounter, you need to place those encounters into the actual zone. Then when the zone is run, it has the data it needs to show those mobs in-game.  Where are we at?  The windows app that talks with the database was started by yours truly about 2 weeks ago. You can create mobs, zone definitions, and encounters. Next we need to be able to place the encounters and then the zone server needs to get all of that data from the database when the zone is loaded up. Then we will start seeing mobs when we enter the game and start exploring.  How close are we to this point?  A couple weeks max, hopefully sooner. 

So that's where we are at.  And we've made it to this point building on what was there in April plus stuff that we had to re-write or add. Add in the time it took to build this team and I think we've achieved something extraordinary in a little over two months.   I want to pause here and let you know one reason I've written all if this up to this point. Because we are a crowd funded game at least up until we find that first round of funding (likely an accredited angel investor) I feel we owe it to everyone whose donated to us their hard earned money examples and proof of measurable forward progress. This is why we recently committed to the community that we would show examples of this measurable forward progress at least every 1-2 weeks.  And I hope it also convinces many if you who may still be sitting on the fence to pledge money to us sooner as opposed to later.  We need money to buy tools and plug-ins and servers and Unity licenses.  And then, even though the team is technically volunteers at this point, I do like to paypal them some $$ when I can.  Every little bit helps, trust me.  

Ok, then what?  Well, we continue to look for more world builders. We need an army and we need world builders now, as volunteers, and then we will need more once funding comes in at which point 1. Our volunteers can become employees and 2. We can hire world builders that need a salary before they can climb in board. Ok, back to coding.  In a couple of weeks, as mentioned, we should have NPCs spawning in zones. Now comes the fun part:  turn combat back on. If you looked at the movies I put together back in April to show you all what the original team had accomplished, you'll remember that primitive combat was working. In fact it was set up so you could choose different classes (ability sets) dynamically.  This was classic combat prototyping which enabled us to get a good feel for how our action/reaction combat system would function. We've talked about this in interviews and on the games web site, but I'll do a quick recap here:  it's sort of like real-time Magic: the Gathering. You have a set if spells and abilities you've learned and earned. When you are prepping for the next fight, you memorize a subset of your spells and abilities. Some are use once until you mem them again, while others might have re-use timers where you can keep casting the spell or triggering the ability until you run out of the appropriate mana type.  And, like in M:TG, you don't just mem spells and abilities you want to use against the mobs, but you also mem Answers. You mem counter spells, deflections , etc.  In fact, if you don't bother yourself with answers and focus only on the cool things you want to do, you're a noob and you're probably going to die hard. 

Ok.   So a lot of this was in the game pre-April and it was great being able to mess with how combat was going to look and feel. Now, in our new client-server set up, using MMO centric networking tech, we need to integrate that old code into that future current build.  That's going to take some time and we want to do it right. We also need to revise and extend the functionality. Essentially you need to be able to in-game set your level, race, and class in real time.  Same with the mob(s). Their initial values will be loaded in from the database, but then we want to be able to tune them in-game in real time.  Then it's time to implement grouping .  And then it's time to start playing this game, at its core, initially a bit primitive, but it will be for real. It won't be a demo or even a prototype.  Yes, all of this so we can make adventure, exploration, combat, and grouping actually in-game and real within the first year of development. 

So that's the road map for at least the next 4-8 months.  What about everything else?  Like I mentioned earlier, there's still a lot if important features, assets, and mechanics that need to be implemented before beta, which ideally will last a year or so, and also ideally the game is at least close to feature complete.  A lot of the timing also depends on when our first round of funding comes in. But here's a perfect place to address an 'issue' that comes up sometimes when we post a movie or screenshots.  Under this plan and with this tech I have hopefully explained why using Unity and the Unity Store is so key to our development plan and the sequence and order within that plan.  To be clear, you are going to see a lot if store bought assets in the movies and screenshots probably up until the last year or so if development. This allows the world builders to lay out intricate and challenging dungeons without having to create art assets themselves or wait for a 3d modeler to create them in Maya. Character creation and customization? Can't ship without it, but we can also have that be one of the Last big technical hurdles as opposed to it being one of the first like it was in EQ or Vanguard.  We can choose our character tech towards the end if the development cycle. This means, amongst other things, that we don't choose one now, put a lot of time and resources into it, but then much better tech appears during the last year of development and we either keep the old stuff or we painfully transition to the new tech (and this happened several times both during EQs and Vanguards dev cycles).   So, in summary re: character models, you're going to see store bought models likely for quite some time.  And yes, there's a method to all of this madness.

Items, climates, vehicles, customizable user interfaces, etc, etc.  All of that happens in a sequence and order I can talk about another time. The main points here were to talk about the team, what we've accomplished, why you see store bought assets, the road to combat and adventure, etc.  I will likely clean up this long missive fairly soon and post it elsewhere, but the questions and even accusations popping up on this thread here gave me a perfect opportunity not just to respond, but then segue into what the new team has accomplished, why are we doing things in the order we are, etc.  if you made it this far, congrats!

'Nuff said!

-Brad 

ps.  If you haven't seen the recent movies and screenshots or the April movie and screenshots I posted back then, the best place to view them all is on the official Pantheon Facebook site.  Please do check them out and see where all of the money and effort went. I think what's posted is a valid and compelling argument that we've always been making good measurable forward progress on this project. 

 

 

Well said.  Now, enough of the negative!  Let's focus on the positive. 

 

Will this title for once, be a title that promises to have enough imagination to where my fantasy character does not have to fight the same race class version of me?

 

In other words, will there be enough variability between classes and races where akin to epic tales that we all have come to love, orcs will not be in groups with paladins, evil types and good types will be on separate real/factions, and so forth?

 

I miss the old fantasy concept where we get to fight enemies that are different than us.  I am so fatigued of the us vs us feel in every title where only a red heading over a character makes them an enemy.  This is part of what made Varking server (VGSoH) so amazing.  What a crying shame they never gave that back to us.

 

For those who did experience Vanguard Saga of Heroes - we need a return to the uniquely beautiful feel of being truly immersed in an mmorpg.  Mr. McQuaid, listen to the music of Leth Nurae once more...tell me that doesn't move you toward creativity. 

 

 

Originally posted by sirphobos
A game with no budget that is being developed by Brad McQuaid and a handful of amateur, volunteer developers. What could possibly go wrong?

Let's hope things work out.  There's so LITTLE on the horizon in regards to any attempt at anything other than the fluff we've been fed in the last decade of so called big titles.

Originally posted by shr4pnel

To help pay for servers? Then how come online games like the Battlefield or Call of Duty or Counterstrike series can exist without monthly fees? They've done away with monthly fees for what, 10 years now?

So that new content will be released? Then how come every other non-MMO game can release a DLC or expansion without charging a monthly fee? You can go to the Steam website and look at all the no-monthly fee games and see their developers releasing DLCs and new expansions for their game without having to be motivated by its players paying a monthly fee.

So what's the reason really?

This should read:  As shitty as mmorpgs have been for

 

years, how can anyone charge for this crap?

Originally posted by Admin

MMORPG.com has been given a very limited quantity of closed beta keys for the latest World of Warcraft expansion - Warlords of Draenor! Get your key while supplies last!

CLICK HERE NOW TO GET YOUR KEY!

Aaaaahh...oh well, next time :)

 

 

Originally posted by ReallyNow10
Originally posted by Horusra
So...you can pull maybe 200k with just ok EQ...doubt most of those would sub....another 50k with modern graphics and nothing else.  So what kind of budget could a game with say 250K subs support as initial investment to create.  That to me would determine what kind of game you could realistically get.  This is what I see holding back an "old school" mmo.

A AAA quality, fully backed fantasy PVE MMORPG with modern graphics, smooth combat, would probably pull in 10 million players.  This is NOT a niche concept.

When EQ Next releases, it will likely do just that. 

What fails, repeatedly, in spite of game polish and how much money is thrown into development, is on-rails forced-storyline gameplay.  Just falls flat every... single ... time...  There is a virtual graveyard of single player games which have passed themselves off as MMO's.

Every time, I hear a game company devs talk about how "we have tailored special storyline paths just for your character", I nod my head and wonder why they are spending their way into their own doom, when all they need to do is to allow a bit more player freedom into their design.

QFT - and quoted for brilliance.  I wish we could round up every developer, put them in a huge auditorium and have your words on a screen repeatedly being read from some prerecorded narrator, over, and over, and over, ad naseum, until it finally sunk into the thick skulls of every fool with a corporate sponsor, that their games are utter crap until they redesign their fiscal predictions to include what would happen if something they actually fashioned was (drum roll)...fun.

 

Here I am playing free shards and old mmorpgs that barely have  a pulse, so that I too can group with people, and experience every damn level with them.  This solo nonsense fits in today's world of automatons - a world where entire troups of kids numbly exit their schools each day, cell phones in hand, eyes only upon their screens and not one another.  The mmorpg industry is seemingly no different. 

Originally posted by Foomerang

 


Originally posted by Comaf

Originally posted by Nanfoodle You do get that RPGs and questing go hand in hand? This has been the case as far back as I can remember. Even old school 8 bit RPGs did it. Gota ask, if you are sick of them, maybe you need a break from this type of game. Go play fighting games for a while or something.  Also with Wildstar, stop doing task missions, they are not required. Just do the main story and go level a different way, dungeons, Shiphand missions, PvP. There are lots of options. 
Absolutely wrong - Vanguard, Shadowbane, Dark Age of Camelot...socially driven mmorpgs where grouping to kill mob clumps means we all get to play together.

 

 

The bs quest fed ex solo guide to MMO's has to stop . 



That's silly like your on some sort of crusade against a game system. Its friggin optional mang. And its a core system just like dungeons and battlegrounds. You don't like quests? Don't do them. I don't like dungeons, I don't do them. Some people don't like crafting so they don't do it. If you feel like you are forced to do something in a game that you don't want to do, is it really that hard to figure out what the next move is?

 

I'm tired of reading posts where people are incapable of finding a game they enjoy and of course its the entire industrie's fault, right. Get over yourself, stop trying to make this some platform where you are representing some group of oppressed people. Take responsibility for your own shit. Its a video game ffs lol

"Take responsibility for your own shit"

Most of us don't have the luxury to invest months and years of our lives in the creation of an mmorpg.  That being said, your statement was brutally illogical.  But for the heck of it, I'll bite in response and leave it at that.  The folks I'm talking to are the ones that not only get what I'm saying, they are dealing with the crapfest of yawn driven titles that saturate today's bland, mmorpg offerings.

 

Secondly, regardless of you being tired or not of reading about how sick people are of solo racing to end game with questing, the hard facts are that in a majority of mmorpgs, any other option equivocates to piss poor xp - this is intentional because developers want you to feel that you can do it all - all by yourself, i.e., we are forced to quest if we wish to reach end game content in any acceptable fashion (and even acceptable is arguable).

 

In Rift, WoW, ESO (even at so called mob grind spots), LOTRO, and so forth, you can grind mobs.  You will spend a lot more time doing that, however, as opposed to questing.

 

The games I listed are old and dated.  But the fact remains, there are people that would rather play some old shard, some old dated game, just so they can (drum roll) play together.  Questing, by default, separates the community.  I've done both, I've seen both results.  I will say there is a reason why people wipe a tear in memory of old mmorpgs -

 

No one will give a rat's rear end about Wildstar in ten years and say, "man, remember when..."  but they sure as hell do over Dark Age of Camelot and Shadowbane.

Originally posted by Nanfoodle

You do get that RPGs and questing go hand in hand? This has been the case as far back as I can remember. Even old school 8 bit RPGs did it. Gota ask, if you are sick of them, maybe you need a break from this type of game. Go play fighting games for a while or something. 

Also with Wildstar, stop doing task missions, they are not required. Just do the main story and go level a different way, dungeons, Shiphand missions, PvP. There are lots of options. 

Absolutely wrong - Vanguard, Shadowbane, Dark Age of Camelot...socially driven mmorpgs where grouping to kill mob clumps means we all get to play together.

 

The bs quest fed ex solo guide to MMO's has to stop . 

Originally posted by Phaedread

Hey guys,

 

Just shooting out some more discussion about sandbox MMOs. Today's questions are:

 

#1 If you could add a feature to a sandbox MMO's what would it be and why?

 

#2 What's your current favorite sandbox MMO feature?

 

#3 Do you prefer more of a sandbox feel, or more conventional MMO of today?

 

Thanks, and have a good day!

An updated version of Shadowbane.  One lore server (ala Dark Age of Camelot style) and one nation v nation (i.e., guild v guild style).  There.  Simple.

Originally posted by Vonatar

It's a question that has always been in the back of my mind, and something often discussed among my gaming group of friends.

Playing some Red Dead Redemption again lately made me revisit the question. In some ways I can see the setting lending itself well to the MMO format. It would make sense to have lots of players around as no one needs to the be the "hero", but just another lone ranger, or posse, bandit or lawman. PVP would work in terms of bandits against lawmen, or even open world PVP with a crime system and players signing up as deputies. There's a wealth of sandbox elements that would be interesting too such as prospecting, cattle wrangling and horse taming to name a few. And it wouldn't be fantasy or sci fi, but something different entirely.

I'm not saying I want someone to make a Wild West MMO. I think the market is pretty flooded with mediocrity these days. But I have often wondered why we never saw one (or perhaps I'm wrong and there's a crappy one I overlooked).

Yee-ha!  They could have  a quest where you form up a posse and go round up slaves...yessssirrrreeeee those would be some good good good times!

 

In all seriousness, a Red Dead Redemption mmo would work in a hard core sandbox format.  Anything less would just look like a family facebook app.

Originally posted by zevian

Gameplay. 

 

Between Combat, Character animations, the ability to actually function on peoples computers, the IP, the more solo nature of the game,  The appeal to a younger hipper audience,  The attraction for people tired of the same old, the music, the pvp,  the combat being so smooth (again).

 

Eq2 never stood a chance. It also hasnt aged very well at all at this point.

^^ Summed it up perfectly.

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