February Newsletter (2019)

It’s Groundhog Day… again.. and that must mean it will soon be time for February’s News Letter! Visionary Realms has bestowed a belated Valentine’s day gift upon us all to enjoy!

In the Under Wraps section, Ben Dean (Producer, Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen) unwraps some of the efforts underway with animation, art, and programming.

.. Project Faerthale is busy, visually speaking. So even though we’ve roughly blocked out the zone for pre-alpha builds, we have a lot of refinement happening. You can see in some of the concepts here how Faerthale is really taking on a life of its own..

Next Joppa takes us for another tour Behind The Design of Pantheon. This month we get to lean a little bit more about Atmospheres which players will experience in the game. We’ve already seen one of these Atmospheres called Gloom in some of the streams and it’s one which Joppa discusses in the newsletter.


The Gloom atmosphere can be found permeating most Undead ruins, crypts, graveyards… places with a high concentration of Undead. This particular Atmosphere impacts players negatively and Undead non-player characters (NPCs) positively while in its area of effect.

Negative Effects on Players

    • Drains Mana over time

    • Reduces healing effectiveness

    • Increases damage inflicted by Undead enemies

Positive Effects on Undead

    • Bonus to all stats

    • Increases Aggro and Assist radius

We also learn about something cool called The Artifacts..

By seeking and acquiring Artifacts. Artifacts are legendary rare items players can discover that offer unique utility. They are necessary to explore and overcome areas of the game where Atmospheres exist.

In the Gloom example above, players would need to acquire and equip the Bone-Woven Veil to mitigate Gloom’s negative effects.

The combination of Atmospheres and Artifacts really adds some great depth to this already rich and extremely well thought out game. It’s definitely not going to be a simple decision to go to a zone and fight what’s there. Knowledge of the potential Atmospheres encountered and how to mitigate them becomes a big factor requiring much exploration to gain the upper hand. But wait, there’s more! In a future Behind the Design, Joppa plans to discuss additional challenges adventurers will face.. The Climate! We’ve already seen some of this in previous streams involving a very windy, snow-covered bridge which required additional items to help deal with the extreme cold.

Lastly, we are treated with a Q&A session with the big man himself, Brad (Aradune) McQuaid! The very first question contained something which is always reassuring. Aradune is in this for the long haul and has a lot of great plans and ideas to roll out for Pantheon.

There are so many mechanics, systems, and ideas to try out but don’t necessarily make sense to until post-launch. In the past I’ve not been able to stay on these projects as long as I would have liked, but I’m all-in on Pantheon; here for the long haul and having a blast!


In addition to learning about the origins of the name Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen and Terminus (quite interesting), Aradune covers a lot of ground around his role in overseeing the games development. He is certainly busy and dedicated to ensuring that “The Vision” is followed but he has also been very busy promoting the game and supporting the Pantheon community.

..but what comes to mind right now is just how important the community is. And more specifically, how incredibly impactful community support and faith in us has been. I know the team receives this all the time on forums, in direct messages, etc. I kept my Facebook account open and dedicated to the game and community, and the number of private messages I get that are full of support, kind words, and encouragement is amazing. We love working on Pantheon, but at times it gets tough. Making an MMO is not the easiest genre to tackle — in fact, it may arguably be the toughest. It’s so nice to see a new Youtube video pop up supporting the game and promoting the game when you’re feeling some of that pressure. Getting a PM on FB or Discord or Twitter has an incredibly positive effect on our morale, and we are very, very grateful.

We are treated to quite a bit of game mechanics philosophy from XP bonuses for grouping, PvP, to power leveling (it’s ain’t gonna happen in Pantheon!) and it’s all something everyone should check out!

I like to say that Pantheon is putting the E back into PvE. Traditionally, PvE simply means fighting NPCs. Pantheon is going beyond that in a big way. Our Perception System is crucial to all of this. You’ll be able to start quests and obtain critical information while exploring. In fact, you’ll need to explore and adventure in order to take part in many aspects of the game. Some MMOs are all about power leveling to the endgame. Why? There is either a perception or a reality that the real fun is at the higher levels. What do many players do in response to all of this? They sit in one or a few spots and power level, often with a higher level friend accelerating the process. This just isn’t going to work in Pantheon. Adventure and exploration are both rewarded and essential.

I could go on and on about the fascinating stuff which Aradune discussed. It’s incredibly exciting and I can’t wait to get my hands on this game! I’ve already warned my wife to expect the following response to anything she asks me which requires that I stop playing.. “Okay, I’ll be there in 5 minutes..” Sigh, famous last words..