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September's Newsletter is out!

    • 783 posts
    September 13, 2017 4:59 PM PDT

    Kilsin said:

    We are making great use of the new artists and Series A funding and are very happy with how things are turning out! You guys will love the new character model changes we have made in line with the new lighting and shader system too! More to come soon :D

    The big question is how will this run when there are 40+ people all in visual range?  Pretty graphics are nice, but if this ends up as another Vanguard where even the beefiest computer choked to death on the 'omfg amazing wow look at these graphics' design it will all mean nothing in the end.  Tell me this will all be optimized enough that the average player (you know, that person who can't afford a $1600+ system) won't have to turn all the sparklies off just to get 15fps.  We're seeing far more graphic stuff than meat-and-potatoes mechanics.

    • 854 posts
    September 13, 2017 5:36 PM PDT

    Cromulent said:

    Looking forward to the stream but please post details about it on these forums as well as social media :). I don't really use Twitter and Facebook all that much.

    The screenshots look awesome.

    I concur, I don't use Facebook at all and rarely use twitter.

    • Moderator
    • 7418 posts
    September 13, 2017 5:52 PM PDT

    Vandraad said:

    Kilsin said:

    We are making great use of the new artists and Series A funding and are very happy with how things are turning out! You guys will love the new character model changes we have made in line with the new lighting and shader system too! More to come soon :D

    The big question is how will this run when there are 40+ people all in visual range?  Pretty graphics are nice, but if this ends up as another Vanguard where even the beefiest computer choked to death on the 'omfg amazing wow look at these graphics' design it will all mean nothing in the end.  Tell me this will all be optimized enough that the average player (you know, that person who can't afford a $1600+ system) won't have to turn all the sparklies off just to get 15fps.  We're seeing far more graphic stuff than meat-and-potatoes mechanics.

    Exactly, and we are building the game with this in mind by constantly doing performance passes and optimising, we will use testing to stress the servers and get everyone's help to load up each zone and push them to their limits :)

    • 532 posts
    September 13, 2017 6:09 PM PDT

    Thanks all!   Major kudos to Bruno and the rest of the programming and art team for elevating the visual fidelity of the game (and we're not even close to being done).  But I also wanted to say thanks big time to all who support the game, pledge, etc.   It's because of you (and other funding, of course) that we were recently able to build the team a bit, bring on graphics programmers, concept artists, 3d artists, etc.  You guys get and deserve a lot of the credit and I'm glad you're liking the progress!

    *humbly bows to the awesome Pantheon community*

     

    -aradune

    • 532 posts
    September 13, 2017 6:22 PM PDT

    Kilsin said:

    Vandraad said:

    Kilsin said:

    We are making great use of the new artists and Series A funding and are very happy with how things are turning out! You guys will love the new character model changes we have made in line with the new lighting and shader system too! More to come soon :D

    The big question is how will this run when there are 40+ people all in visual range?  Pretty graphics are nice, but if this ends up as another Vanguard where even the beefiest computer choked to death on the 'omfg amazing wow look at these graphics' design it will all mean nothing in the end.  Tell me this will all be optimized enough that the average player (you know, that person who can't afford a $1600+ system) won't have to turn all the sparklies off just to get 15fps.  We're seeing far more graphic stuff than meat-and-potatoes mechanics.

    Exactly, and we are building the game with this in mind by constantly doing performance passes and optimising, we will use testing to stress the servers and get everyone's help to load up each zone and push them to their limits :)

    Yeah, let me add to that really quick.  As proud as I am of Vanguard overall, the mistakes we did make (including pushing the graphics way too hard and not optimizing frequently) still STING.  I mean there are scars, for real.  

    We continue to run the game on average machines (something we didn't do at Sigil, always buying the most uber machines we could).

    Our programming team, led by the amazing Daniel Krenn, optimizes and does so frequently.  It's not like we do several months of coding and then 'check and see if it still runs ok'.   No, it's a constant effort and a huge priority.

    One of the things that helped WoW take off was the ability for just about anyone to run it.  Now while we're pushing the bounds a bit more than that and are obviously less stylized, the lesson is learned:  with MMOs, make sure just about everyone can run the client.  

    What you *are* seeing is the result of us bringing on additional team members fairly recently, including an incredibly gifted graphics master.  As much as working on the game, making sure it's fantastic at launch and beyond launch, will always be priority #1, we now have the resources to put more effort into visual fidelity.  That effort, combined with Unity itself getting better and better, additional plug-ins for it, etc. make me confident enough to say that Pantheon will continue to look better and better between now and launch and even after launch.  So I can understand the concern, especially given VG.

    But I can truly address your concern and say that it's not going to be an issue.  We're not trying to match the latest PS/4 FPS where they can control the scene and number of players precisely.  We're not putting in every bell and whistle 'just because we can'.  It has to make sense.  It has to be realistic.  And at all times we remind ourselves this is an MMO, not the latest shooter, and a scene can change dramatically (especially, as was brought up, what if a ton of people decide to congregate together).

    That said, to reach all the types of gamers we want to, visual fidelity is important.  We began development of Pantheon fixed almost entirely on building a real MMO, not a demo or something to show a publisher in the hopes they don't look behind the curtain.  We were criticized for not putting more resources into the visuals, for using Unity store assets, etc. earlier in the project.  We politely rejected that criticism.  But you're going to see a major push over the next several months to increase Pantheon awareness and we all know part of that is working on the visuals.  

    Lastly, I can assure you that while we have people on the visuals, our biggest priority is 1. prepping for pre-alpha 1 and 2. keeping the overall development moving forward (world building, etc).  I think we're doing a good job in terms of resource allocation, but would love to hear from all of you.  Do keep in mind that for the game and this company to be as successful as we all dream, being able to stay on Pantheon for a decade+, really moving the genre forward, and making sure we have a solid foundation upon which we can try some new and crazy stuff, that we do need a good number of subscribers... and those people are reached by different things.... detailed FAQ and Tenets, community interaction and listening to you guys, showing consistent forward progress, *and* visuals.   

    • 51 posts
    September 13, 2017 6:41 PM PDT

    Great update thanks for the information. 

    • 783 posts
    September 13, 2017 7:00 PM PDT

    Aradune said:

    Kilsin said:

    Vandraad said:

    Kilsin said:

    We are making great use of the new artists and Series A funding and are very happy with how things are turning out! You guys will love the new character model changes we have made in line with the new lighting and shader system too! More to come soon :D

    The big question is how will this run when there are 40+ people all in visual range?  Pretty graphics are nice, but if this ends up as another Vanguard where even the beefiest computer choked to death on the 'omfg amazing wow look at these graphics' design it will all mean nothing in the end.  Tell me this will all be optimized enough that the average player (you know, that person who can't afford a $1600+ system) won't have to turn all the sparklies off just to get 15fps.  We're seeing far more graphic stuff than meat-and-potatoes mechanics.

    Exactly, and we are building the game with this in mind by constantly doing performance passes and optimising, we will use testing to stress the servers and get everyone's help to load up each zone and push them to their limits :)

    Yeah, let me add to that really quick.  As proud as I am of Vanguard overall, the mistakes we did make (including pushing the graphics way too hard and not optimizing frequently) still STING.  I mean there are scars, for real.  

    We continue to run the game on average machines (something we didn't do at Sigil, always buying the most uber machines we could).

    Our programming team, led by the amazing Daniel Krenn, optimizes and does so frequently.  It's not like we do several months of coding and then 'check and see if it still runs ok'.   No, it's a constant effort and a huge priority.

    One of the things that helped WoW take off was the ability for just about anyone to run it.  Now while we're pushing the bounds a bit more than that and are obviously less stylized, the lesson is learned:  with MMOs, make sure just about everyone can run the client.  

    What you *are* seeing is the result of us bringing on additional team members fairly recently, including an incredibly gifted graphics master.  As much as working on the game, making sure it's fantastic at launch and beyond launch, will always be priority #1, we now have the resources to put more effort into visual fidelity.  That effort, combined with Unity itself getting better and better, additional plug-ins for it, etc. make me confident enough to say that Pantheon will continue to look better and better between now and launch and even after launch.  So I can understand the concern, especially given VG.

    But I can truly address your concern and say that it's not going to be an issue.  We're not trying to match the latest PS/4 FPS where they can control the scene and number of players precisely.  We're not putting in every bell and whistle 'just because we can'.  It has to make sense.  It has to be realistic.  And at all times we remind ourselves this is an MMO, not the latest shooter, and a scene can change dramatically (especially, as was brought up, what if a ton of people decide to congregate together).

    That said, to reach all the types of gamers we want to, visual fidelity is important.  We began development of Pantheon fixed almost entirely on building a real MMO, not a demo or something to show a publisher in the hopes they don't look behind the curtain.  We were criticized for not putting more resources into the visuals, for using Unity store assets, etc. earlier in the project.  We politely rejected that criticism.  But you're going to see a major push over the next several months to increase Pantheon awareness and we all know part of that is working on the visuals.  

    Lastly, I can assure you that while we have people on the visuals, our biggest priority is 1. prepping for pre-alpha 1 and 2. keeping the overall development moving forward (world building, etc).  I think we're doing a good job in terms of resource allocation, but would love to hear from all of you.  Do keep in mind that for the game and this company to be as successful as we all dream, being able to stay on Pantheon for a decade+, really moving the genre forward, and making sure we have a solid foundation upon which we can try some new and crazy stuff, that we do need a good number of subscribers... and those people are reached by different things.... detailed FAQ and Tenets, community interaction and listening to you guys, showing consistent forward progress, *and* visuals.   

    That answer right here is why VR has the amount of money it has from me and why I've been a devoted follower to this company and game since the very first day.  Thank you Brad for all that you and your amazing team are doing.  Keep up the good work.

    • 27 posts
    September 13, 2017 7:49 PM PDT

    A really good improvement keep up the good work, I can't wait.

    • 623 posts
    September 13, 2017 8:04 PM PDT

    Aradune said:

    Thanks all!   Major kudos to Bruno and the rest of the programming and art team for elevating the visual fidelity of the game (and we're not even close to being done).  But I also wanted to say thanks big time to all who support the game, pledge, etc.   It's because of you (and other funding, of course) that we were recently able to build the team a bit, bring on graphics programmers, concept artists, 3d artists, etc.  You guys get and deserve a lot of the credit and I'm glad you're liking the progress!

    *humbly bows to the awesome Pantheon community*

     

    -aradune

    Hey Aradune,

     

    Thanks for the update.

    IN addition, I found out about this game from your YT interview with Boogie2988 and I would like him to be involved again.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=45XrbsBt34c

     


    This post was edited by Zeem at September 14, 2017 11:39 AM PDT
    • 447 posts
    September 13, 2017 9:07 PM PDT

    A big Thanks to Kilsin for Championing that "State of the Game" section.

    Of course it's never enough, (I'm sure some wish there was more) but it was just enough to give us an idea of what is going on and where things are without giving away too much.

    I just want you to know I appreciate your efforts, you heard us and delivered.

    • Moderator
    • 7418 posts
    September 13, 2017 9:34 PM PDT

    Zorkon said:

    A big Thanks to Kilsin for Championing that "State of the Game" section.

    Of course it's never enough, (I'm sure some wish there was more) but it was just enough to give us an idea of what is going on and where things are without giving away too much.

    I just want you to know I appreciate your efforts, you heard us and delivered.

    Thank you Zorkon, it was a team effort but definitely a point that we listened and acted on, I try my best for this amazing community and will always do so, as does the rest of the team :)

    • 1486 posts
    September 13, 2017 10:04 PM PDT

    Kilsin said:

    Zorkon said:

    A big Thanks to Kilsin for Championing that "State of the Game" section.

    Of course it's never enough, (I'm sure some wish there was more) but it was just enough to give us an idea of what is going on and where things are without giving away too much.

    I just want you to know I appreciate your efforts, you heard us and delivered.

    Thank you Zorkon, it was a team effort but definitely a point that we listened and acted on, I try my best for this amazing community and will always do so, as does the rest of the team :)

    I really appreciate what the team are doing as a whole and look forward to hearing more about what is coming up over the coming months. Keep up the good work all :).

    • 429 posts
    September 14, 2017 7:01 AM PDT

    I look forward to the coming months when we can see more of the great work you are putting in.

    • 351 posts
    September 14, 2017 8:17 AM PDT

    Great news, love the new lighting effects everything looks sharper! 

    This part of the newsletter got my attention "It can't be emphasized enough. Without it, the game is literally in the dark. It's the one element that ties everything together. If the lighting isn't right it throws off all the other graphics and art elements, even before you've done post effects or anything like that. All of our other assets are built to match the lighting system, so it's important to get it right early in the game."

    I noticed that with the new lighting effects the marble stairs in the Tower of the Reckless Magician where missing some details that they had previously and the pillars went from bronze to silver. In Avendyr's Pass the ruins look a bit cleaner (less dirt on the walls and pillars). This changes the colour scheme of the zones, does this mean some assets will need a re-colour to better fit the intended feel/look of the zones?


    This post was edited by jpedrote at September 14, 2017 9:05 AM PDT
    • 31 posts
    September 14, 2017 9:41 AM PDT

    I'm looking forward to making my own screenshots soon. :)

    It looks really great

    • 863 posts
    September 14, 2017 10:51 AM PDT

    I dont know about you but I am putting off assembling a new gaming PC untill Pantheon comes out. I've fgotten into the habot from other MMO's to upgrade my PC whenever an expansion or something comes out .

    • 13 posts
    September 14, 2017 10:52 AM PDT

    Wow, great to hear from Aradune and thanks to Kilsin for the quick responses. Game is really looking like it's coming together now. It is definitely refreshing to hear that you guys are concerned about optimization so we don't see problems like we did in Vanguard. Really appreciate the updates and hope we can see that character model update soon too. Can't wait for the stream!

    • 14 posts
    September 14, 2017 11:31 AM PDT

    Looks amazing, a vast improvement.  Keep it coming!

    • 13 posts
    September 14, 2017 12:07 PM PDT

    Had to log in to comment on this. The before and after screenshots in this were amazing and this newsletter was full of good information compared to the previous ones. Good job on taking criticism and running with it.  

    • 68 posts
    September 14, 2017 7:24 PM PDT
    Great work.
    • 229 posts
    September 14, 2017 8:53 PM PDT

    If anyone isn't paying attention, there are many fingers pointing to MAJOR milestones being near completion. 

    1. The Art pass is a major indicator that the world team actually has enough content to support the art team. 

    2. The economy pass is another indicator that itemization is robust. 

    3. Naming revamps and FINAL asset passes for Thronefast indicate zones are getting Less cookiecutter, more iconic and immersize. 

    4. Armor sets and concept pieces scream loudly; endgame and meta game! can anybody say lvl 40!

    5. Graphics focus indicate preparation for a media crusade and market building.

     

    These are great clues that PA1,2 are likely around the corner; relatively. 

     

    Future things that I'd like to STILL see more about

    1. Spell types; Spoken vs Gestured vs ??? and their counters

    2. world building in Reignfall, Su'Roa, the "southern tundra"; related, a new atlas! (I know, the goal for PA is kingsreach+40lvls)

     

    Thanks for the Newsletter! Indeed, one of the best all year =)!

     

    • 445 posts
    September 14, 2017 9:55 PM PDT

    Wow pics are so nice!!  Massive improvements guys, the afters just blew me away!!

     

    • 176 posts
    September 15, 2017 3:45 AM PDT

    I just had to add my congrats to the art team. Such an improvement. Beautiful, and yet more reasons for me to beg to be let in. :-)

    Thanks for the clarification on intended specs, Aradune. Seriously cannot wait for this!

    • 140 posts
    September 15, 2017 5:06 PM PDT
    Is a squee in order?
    I believe a squee is in order.

    Looking great!
    • 95 posts
    September 18, 2017 10:30 AM PDT

    Wow looking good! Definitely needed that. Cant wait to see how the characters and effects have been updated in the next stream as well. 

    Speaking of which... why is it every time "sometime this week" or "over the next week" is mentioned, its always really more torwards the end of that week? Two days left ... tick tock lol ;) 

    Or is Twitchcon the plan?