Brad “Aradune” McQuaid has launched his Kickstarter campaign to fund his planned game Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen. I did not see much build-up to it, but maybe I wasn’t paying attention to the right sources.
Aradune, who came through TorilMUD back in the day, is best known for being one of the primary drivers of EverQuest and Vanguard.
Of course, everybody (or everybody reading this) remembers EverQuest, while Vanguard hasn’t always been… appreciated? I hate to say winner/loser, but one was king of the genre pre-WoW and remains influential today and the other…
So this is the third try. Can Aradune and his cohorts at Visionary Realms, Inc. (there is that “vision” word again) take what has been learned over the years and craft an MMORPG that brings back the hardcore days of EverQuest while running well and feeling up-to-date? That certainly seems to be the target.
Pantheon emphasizes the need to adventure with others. The world is dangerous and full of unexpected challenges making it unwise to travel alone. We feel that the best memories are those shared with fellow adventurers and friends. Thus, we are aiming to create a world where grouping is paramount.
He is asking for $800,000 in funding, which if you read my predictions for 2014, means I think he won’t make it. I figured his name and reputation was good for half a million tops, so I guess we will see if I am wrong in the next 40 days. (The timer runs down on Saturday Feb 22, 11:40am PST. I’m in for $75. If the ride starts, I want to be on board.)
I expect it will be a hard fight to make it there no matter what and Brad will have to be out and about and getting people interested pretty much full time. Remember how hard Mark Jacobs worked to get to two million dollars for Camelot Unchained?
There are the usual aspects of a Kickstarter campaign in place, including stretch goals out beyond the 6 million dollar mark. You can find all the details on the Kickstarter page for the project. I expect we will see interviews with Brad coming up where he will have to answer some hard questions about what he learned from the Vanguard project and where something like Pantheon fits in today’s market.
The target date for the game is pegged at three years out, January 2017.
I thought I would copy these bullet points to ponder as the campaign moves on.
- An MMO developed by gamers who aren’t afraid to target an audience of like-minded gamers.
- A fantasy themed Massively Multiplayer Role Playing game (MMO) with a heavy focus on character development, an immersive world, and teamwork.
- An MMO for players wanting a challenging and rewarding experience.
- An open world in which you explore to obtain not only more powerful items but also new spells and abilities.
- Travel where and when you want to in a non-linear world.
- A huge world to explore, trade, and adventure in.
- A complex back-story that players may gradually discover as they grow in power and explore the world.
- A constantly expanding and evolving world.
- Group-focused social gameplay using a class based system to encourage teamwork.
- Customize your class by bonding with the spirits of fallen warriors.
- Reactive combat where you can determine what the NPC is doing and react to it. (move, counter, deflect, etc.) .
- Combat will be challenging and involved — your decisions will matter and directly affect the battle’s outcome.
- Travel the world and profit from selling exotic items collected from distant realms. Different cities and outposts may have local Bazaars.
- Limited and class based teleportation may get you close, but in order to reach many destinations you will have to traverse the planar scarred lands of Terminus through the use of your own two feet or on the back of your mighty steed.
- Earning experience is only part of what it takes to level up. Exploring the world you will gain knowledge and power allowing you to overcome more powerful enemies.
- The game will run on PC, Mac, and possibly other platforms in the future.
- An awareness that content is king
- A belief that game economies should be predicated on delaying and minimizing item value deflation
- A commitment to a style of play that focuses on immersive combat, and engaging group mechanics.
- An understanding that a truly challenging game is truly rewarding
- An expectation that the path of least resistance should also be the most entertaining
- A mindset that Designed Downtime should be a part of the game to ensure players have time to form important social bonds.
- A belief that an immersive world requires intelligent inhabitants
- An understanding that faction should be an integral part of interacting with the world and its citizenry.
- A commitment to creating a world where a focus on group play will attract those seeking a challenge
- A belief that the greatest sense of accomplishment comes when it is shared