Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen

Monday, January 13, 2014

It seems the father of MMOs is at it again!

Just when I had thrown in the towel, and given up ever again seeing a MMO I could enjoy – thanks to SOE's huge disappointment with EverQuestNotNext. Along comes Brad McQuaid. Fresh off a layoff from SOE after a unexpected return to the EverQuest 1 team. Deciding that enough time had passed since his failure of the spiritual sequel to EQ1, Vanguard, he's now ready to renter the MMO scene once again in a leadership role in development of a brand new game. That game is:

My first gut reaction when learning of this a couple weeks ago, was to say "meh".

Years ago now, I was lost after SOE severely watered down EQ1. I gave up on it shortly after Omens of War. I tried WoW. I played on the emu server ProjectEQ:TGC. I combed over MMO websites looking for a new MMO that could interest me, never finding anything. Until one day I heard about Vanguard. I read up on all the details released about it that I could find, and overall it sounded great. I instantly became a follower of the emerging community, patrolling and posting on its forums every day. As time went on, I even remember driving around town looking for some stupid obscure magazine to get a Beta invite code, to no avail. I applied for the Beta the normal way too, but I wanted to guarantee I got in. But I was unlucky. Despite my devotion, I only got into the Beta at the very last moment, if not when it just went into public Beta.

Once I finally got in, what I was met with shocked me. My computer at the time was a decent mid range comp. One I played many games with perfectly fine for years after, including WoW. But my computer hated VG. It was a choppy/laggy mess. Tweaking the settings as much as I could, I continued on. What I then saw further disgusted me. It was just a WoW clone, except with different graphics. Quest hubs, normal/special/elite type NPC system, annoying combat controls. I didn't even last till level 20 before I gave up. It was just everything that it wasn't supposed to be. It felt like every other post EQ MMO, in that it took everything that made EQ great, and discarded it, instead opting to follow the WoW model of MMO design that to many MMOs since have tried to as well.

I gave up then on ever seeing a good MMO again. From there, I toughed it out on WoW off and on, finding enjoyment only playing with friends/family, rarely if ever in with the game itself. This went on until I heard of EQNext. I knew not to expect to much, and instead leave myself to be pleasantly surprised if anything. For years little info was given. Just promising bits like them supposedly communicating with EQ1 fans about what they liked about EQ1. This was enough hope to at least warrant watching the project. EQ1 fans are SO adamant about what made EQ1 great, and most seem to agree on very important, key things. If you care about EQ1 fans, and are designing a game THEY want to play, then certainly at worst, say a game that 25% resembles the design of EQ1 can't be that bad. It's still going to be closer then WoW and all its clones.

Then we come to SOEs big event last year. I've already posted about it, so I'm just going to get to the point. EQNext is in NO WAY EverQuest 1. Period. Again, they seemed to take everything good about EQ and discard it. In fact, I couldn't find anything about it that resembled EQ at all, outside of the lore. EQ1 was far more then its lore. It's lore was probably its least important defining feature.

I've been burned twice now on promising MMO's. I once again completely gave up on them. There was never going to be a good MMO again.

This brings me to a couple weeks ago. Where I learn of McQuaids new – then untitled – project. The EQNext sting still being fresh in me, I looked into it with low expectations. But once again, he seemed to be saying ALL the right things. Even more so than before with VG.

It was odd that I was finding myself almost angry at him for this. How could I be angry at someone that could be delivering the exact MMO I've been waiting for? I'm not saying it makes perfect sense, but it's just because I don't want to be burned again. Still, reason has to set in, and I have watch this project closely.

What makes Pantheon interesting? Targeting a specific audience. One that's been neglected by the decline of quality in MMOs.

This is me. Well, this game isn't %100 the game I would want. But anyone expecting such a thing is delusional. The best anyone can hope is for a game to be significantly closer to %100 then the rest, and for me that's Pantheon. WoW, not even close. EQNext? Pantheon is close enough to throw my money at. Hopefully you wil want to throw your money at it too.

Pantheon KickStarter


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