Pantheon : Rise of the Lore

I follow many sub Reddits on Reddit (that is what they are called, aren’t they?) although I don’t read a lot there. However, there are a few key ones I skim semi-regularly.

The Anthem debacle coverage in the Reddit is equally depressing and entertaining, and like a car crash is often impossible to look away.

Project 1999 is rarely used, as the main forums get 100s of posts and replies a day. Of course that makes perfect sense – that a game and gamers stuck in a perpetual past are using a communication method that was ideal for the time. Nostalgia knows no bounds. (Yes, I read there, because I am one of those suckers).

Magic The Gathering Arena is another fun one to learn codes for free cards in the digital format, as well as see some fun and interesting decks.

Last, but not least, is Pantheon MMO, the may someday arrive child of Brad McQuaid. Of which, I have had some things to say about him in the past. Of course, Pantheon MMO is the one big hope for the EQ Nostalgia hunters. And like many crowdfunded games before it (Hello, DAOC 2, Star Citizen, etc., ad naseum) they are likely years and years away from having anything resembling a full blown MMO. They will probably ship a product well before it is.

Sorry, cynicism. Go away. (Not you, dear reader, the cynicism!)

So it is with a shred of hope and expected disappointment when a lore video popped up on the Reddit. About an elf. It’s a 10 minute watch and is mostly a voiceover over stills. Assuming there is a text version somewhere too, but here it is:

Yes I became interested. It worked! An interesting take on elven culture, and a whole bunch of things that don’t really make sense to me. It is video 31 of the series. So of course I started exploring more of them.

Interesting thing is as I am listening and watching the stories – many that are very cryptic and talk about things that maybe I should know more about – I look at it through a video game lens. Oh, that’s a dungeon we will explore someday. That must be a raid boss. Etc, etc. Oh, lost pages, only three have been recovered? I bet there are more to find. It is a story based on a video game (or parts of a video game) so hopefully all the things mentioned end up in the design somewhere, somehow.

What is interesting is that the race videos are coming up very soon in the order I am exploring and they have the most interesting take on Gnomes I have seen (visually) at least and that is typically my favorite Everquest race. So I am equally curious to see how things play out there. Maybe the culture and other aspects will be far from the typical “curious tinkering gnome” stereotype and it won’t click. We shall see.

Not your mother’s gnome, that’s for sure.

Back to Ms. Greyborne – the story isn’t too far off standard fantasy fare but what I did appreciate is how they set the stage for her from her tendencies as a child, to her rebellious years, to where she is today. It also left some huge plot holes – mentioned but not explored – that does entice me to want to know more and gives the developers and story artists room to explore things in game.

If that game is ever released, at any level of expectation people are having. Which for me, is about zero right now – a healthy dose of “I will believe it when I see it”. But yes, I will totally play it if it ever gets released in a playable state.

I’m trying to think of what other games have done to explore lore in bite sized pieces – I know World of Warcraft has novels and movies and other grand things, but I think I appreciate the small (less than 10 minutes a pop) nature of these videos as a way to explore different topics and thoughts quickly. I am mostly sure the style and format is a limitation of budget but they are still well narrated and completed – that’s for sure.

Is Pantheon on your list? Do you have a favorite lore spot you visit for your most interesting games?

3 comments / Add your comment below

  1. I could have sworn I remembered you once saying you were prepared to drop the required $1000 for pre-alpha access to Pantheon…

    By not entirely complete co-incidence (it was spurred by a news item on the same video you watched) I visited the official Pantheon website for the first time in months yesterday. It’s very impressive, as is all of the gameplay footage I’ve seen – and I must have watched several hours of it now. It’s in pre-alpha still and clearly a lot of focus is going on bringing in enough crowdfunded money to stay in business, although they do supposedly have some private investment.

    I think someone could do quite well from investing in this. Brad can’t manage a project to save his life but that’s now a very well-known factor that any major investor ought to be able to police. Brad *can* make these games, possibly better than anyone else, and there is a significant audience that wants to play them which is not currently being well served.

    I also took another close look at the “Pledge” options – the pre-payments in other words. Some of them are batshit insane but I would – and will, if the time comes – pay $100 for beta access plus a copy of the game when/if it goes Live. I paid that for Landmark and I never once regretted it. I always thought I got my money’s worth and I’m certain that if Pantheon makes it to beta I’ll get easily a hundred dollars worth of fun out of what will most likely be a good few months, if not years, before it officially launches.

    I also found out on holiday while chatting to Mrs Bhagpuss, who is currently not playing any MMOs for the first time in almost 20years, that she’s waiting for Pantheon. I didn’t realise she was that fussed about it but she wants something like the old experience of playing EQ but, unlike you and I, she won’t ever go backwards, only forwards. For that reason, if no other, I wish Brad would get on with it!

    1. I did think I mentioned it that if I knew I would get a year+ of gaming I would consider it – much like you, I thoroughly enjoyed Landmark (even though it didn’t end up as well, anything at all. I have just become a bit jaded with the hype machines on these games and happy to take a “we shall see” approach until there is reason to be excited. At which point, I would most likely pay $100 for Beta Access as well – when there is a concrete date and plan for it. Currently that could be anywhere from 6 months to three years, and not paying this far ahead.

      I have started making alts in p1999 and carrying them through. I am still hooked there and that will keep me occupied for some time, I think.

      Glad to hear Mrs. Bhagpuss has good taste!

  2. Pantheon for me is on *a* list. It’s on the list of MMOs that I am keeping at arms length yet occasionally still peeking over the fence at.

    The main hope I carry for this — although I realise just how shaky a hope it is, I saw some of the post-mortem articles that it sounds you may have as well from the prior post — is that it can rebirth the promise of Vanguard. Dear lord that game had potential oozing out of its every pore. The world building was incredible. But it was just so desolate. I remember trying out the beta and I had a pretty decent PC at the time, and it was a near slideshow. They took the EQ2 route of future-proofing just a few extra steps to the point of making it barely runnable on the then current PCs.

    So it wasn’t until a number of years later when I, and a group of friends, went back in to give it another shot. We loved it dearly, yet it was undeniable that large portions of that game hung together with digital sticky tape and glue. This feeling grew the further into the world you got as well, with some otherwise amazing dungeons having misfiring scripts and becoming unable to be completed.

    If Pantheon can manage to regain that sense of world and place. Hoo boy. Yes please.

    But while that happens, I’ll be safely over in my ‘No unreleased MMOs allowed’ clubhouse of safety-from-unrealistic-expectations. 😉

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