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Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen is often referred to as a group-oriented game.

Wait, I I feel like I'm having deja vu - like I've started a video like this

before. "Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen is often

described as a group oriented game." Oh, yeah that's the video where I explained

how you can still solo in Pantheon even though it's mostly designed for

grouping. But there's another side of the equation. Because if the baseline is a

group of six, but you can sometimes go less with that, it begs the question... what

about more than six? What about raiding?

Raiding is a big deal to a lot of people, and that's probably partly because most

MMOs on the market these days essentially revolve around raiding. In

fact, you've probably played an MMO where you felt obligated to rush through the

leveling process just so that you can jump into the raids because that's where

you're told the "real fun" is. But that can get monotonous after a

while. So the developers of Pantheon have explicitly stated that they're trying to

kind of flip that formula on its head by putting the emphasis on exploring and

leveling up in the context of small groups and making that actually

meaningful. But in the same breath, they've also said that you'll definitely

be able to raid - it just won't be the main attraction of the game because they

want the fun to be more about the journey rather than the destination, so

to speak. But we all still want to know what raiding will be like, right?

Well after many many questions from the community, the devs have finally spilled

enough beans to get an idea of what we can expect.

Most recently, Creative Director Chris Joppa Perkins reappeared on the Pantheon

developer roundtable. And this was actually part two of a roundtable that

they had started at the end of last year. And now after the holiday break, he's

returned to finish answering the questions. And a

huge percentage of the new information that we got out of this is related to

raiding, which is of course very exciting and I can hardly wait to break it down

for you here today, like I always do. So if you want more

Pantheon coverage like this, hit the subscribe button now. But let's start out

by trying to get an idea of how much raiding content there will be. Like if

most of the content is designed for a group of roughly four to six people,

how much is not? How big of a part will raiding play in the overall Pantheon

experience? Well to answer that we actually have to go back to August 2018

to the MMORPG.com GameSpace Game Show, where Joppa explained how raiding in

Pantheon isn't just an afterthought and they are already working to make sure

that there is enough raid content at launch. "For me personally, I was a MMO

gamer before I was a developer. And I was an MMO gamer for a really long

time. And so I've experienced firsthand that sense of launching with a game,

diving in, leveling at a competitive pace, and then getting to end

game, and realizing there's just absolutely nothing to do. Or if there is

something to do, it's usually tacked on and hanging by a thread and you break it

every time you touch it. And it just seems really

second thought or whatever. And already with that in mind, we started

our whole world building process with the commitment to have three raid zones

defined and conceptualized and planned and gone through pre-production and all

those things from the beginning. And and that's the raid zone, not just an

encounter, but zones - full zones that are devoted to raid content, with

of course several points of that apex raid encounter within

them. And that's something that we're committed to and it's it's something

that when Pantheon launches, I could list the names if I wanted to, but

there's already three raid zones planned, conceptualized, and gonna be ready for

players to tackle. And then staying on top of that is going to be really

important as well." And

I want to point out real quick that one part of making the game more about the

journey than the destination could include having some more mid-level raids,

like as their FAQ suggests, around level twenty or thirty. Now that's of course

not explicit confirmation - we don't know what the levels of the raid zones will

be at launch, or what will be added after. But I just want to put it out there that

it's a possibility they're considering to make it feel less like you have to

just rush through the leveling process. But regardless, let's say you decide you

want to try out one of these raid zones. How many people should you bring with

you? Well this is one of the key questions that Joppa answered in the most

recent developer roundtable: "Raid content is being developed with 12, 24, and 40

person caps in mind. I actually tend to think of it more as in 12, 24, and 36, but

I like 40 because it just gives a little bit of extra breathing room." And remember,

there are any raid finder systems. Or in other words, it's not gonna be like some

games where each raid has a specific composition of a certain amount of each

class role that it needs and then the game just automatically places you with

random people. That would be antithetical to Pantheon's principles of more organic

socialization. Now I should mention that there will be some tools to kind of

facilitate an expedite more organic relationships so you don't just waste

your time trying to find people to play with, but that's a big topic for another

day. So let's say you got your raid force together, you travel to the location

where you've heard this boss has a tendency to spawn, and then you remember,

of course, this is an open-world game. There's no instances that guarantee that

you'll have that whole boss to yourself. So maybe there's already another raid

force waiting there. The question is then 'who gets the boss?' In most open world

MMOs, there's usually two ways of going about this: First-to-engage (or FTE) means

that the first raid force that deals damage to the target gets to loot if

they kill it. Alternatively, there's Most Damage Done (or MDD), meaning whichever

raid force deals at least

51% of the damage gets to loot it when they kill it, so it's essentially a race.

And there are pros and cons to each, which have been heavily debated in the

Pantheon community for a long time. And Joppa has finally put those to rest with

a solid answer on how it will be handled: "the plan right now for raids is that

raid targets will be first-to-encounter. Credit will apply to the entirety of the

raid force that the first to encounter player is with. And so once a raid

target is tagged, only the members of the tagging raid force are going to be able

to inflict damage on the raid target. It will be locked to the raid

force that is first to encounter, and like we talked about earlier, a raid

force is going to consist of up to 40 players. Each raid target is going to

be tuned for a raid force of either 12, 24, or 40 players, and where we would kind of

go from there is to say if if a 40-person raid force tags a raid target

that is intended for a 24 person raid, then that target is going to scale in

difficulty in proportion to the number of raid force members that exceeds its

intended size. So when we say we're designing these raids for 12 or

24 or 40 person raids, we're doing first-to-encounter for raid targets, and if you

get a 40-person raid force showing up to

a 12 or 24 person raid

force target, then you're gonna see that target scale dramatically based on the

number of additional people in that raid force that show up. The first to

encounter I think solves a lot of things, but not if you're

able to tag with a single person. I think there's something to be said about guilds

being in a certain place - there's going to be

probably a predetermined area around a raid target where the first to

encounter attempt can begin setting up, and then whether it's in the form of a

race or whatever it ends up being, and whether we consider

something like a lockout, where if you are the one the guild to tag that

target, then maybe you have to sit out the next spawn

and then it kind of resets the spawn after that, maybe not. But what

I'm hoping to see is that guilds will work out some kind of an

agreement to a degree with who's going to tag when. And that will be

dependent though on respawn time, so if it's if it's crazy long respawn time,

then I don't think guilds will feel a whole lot of impetus trying to strike in

agreement because of how long they have to wait. But the key is first-to-

encounter is going to solve a lot of things for us and for you

guys in a lot of ways. But it can't just be like I've got my rogue

camped here, I've got my ranger camped here, and as soon as the thing

spawns, I'm spamming hotkeys. It really needs to be more of a raid force

that's accumulated, and that first to encounter will most likely only be

registered if there's enough of that particular raid force there and present.

So I just don't want to see a single character tagging the

boss, and then kiting it around while the guild musters and gets there.

You need to be there, you need to be generally set up, prepared, ready to go.

And then once you've got enough people there to tag, then you tag, and

you're on your way." Now that inevitably brings up the critical

discussion about how to manage the level of competition over a particular raid

targets so that guilds aren't constantly bickering over who should get to fight

the boss next. Now to some degree, part of being in a community is having to figure

out how to work together with other people. So in this case, you could try

setting up a waiting list or something like that.

But beyond that, the devs have mentioned that they are keenly aware of this issue

as MMO gamers themselves, and are coming up with some creative ways to deal with

it. Like for example, one thing they're doing is spreading desirable items

throughout the world to reduce bottlenecks, or even adding in some soft

locking mechanisms like this door that closes to prevent anyone else from

entering while your group is fighting Gnashura. But that's again an even

bigger debate that's probably better suited for a time like Alpha, when there

are a lot more people in game testing things out. So I'll definitely be

expanding on those aspects of raiding as more information becomes available to us.

This video just serves as a sort of introduction to raiding. Because by now,

we have a good idea of how many raids there are, how many people we should

bring, how we claim the targets, etc. But how do we actually fight them? And what

sort of mechanics can we expect to see in raids, without completely spoiling

them of course. Well the first thing you should know about is called

Manifestations. If you've heard of the Disposition system before in Pantheon,

this is basically the same idea applied to major bosses. So that means that

whenever a boss spawns, it has a chance of spawning with a manifestation. And if

it does, a manifestation is chosen at random from a list of possibilities,

which is tailored to that specific boss. And depending on which one it spawns

with ,it can affect the boss's behavior and abilities in various ways. One of the

primary reasons for this is that it makes it so that the boss fights don't

get so predictable, or else the game will just get less exciting, less challenging,

and overall less interesting over time as you repeat the content.u Bt what's

interesting about this is it also changes the bosses loot table, because

one of the fundamental design philosophies of Pantheon is that risk

should be rewarded, as well as just making sense for the mob that drops

it. And if you want to learn more about item design in Pantheon, I'll provide a

link to a playlist that expands on it more.u Bt for now, let's move into the

danger zone - the actual abilities that raid bosses might have in their arsenal.

While we'll mostly have to discover this for ourselves in-game, Visionary Realms'

Senior Programmer Jason Weimann spoke in a different developer roundtable and was

kind enough to give just a little taste of the sorts of things he's worked on.

"I'm a huge fan of getting in all of those mechanics to do all kinds of crazy

stuff and build out giant, complex, fun raid zones that in my opinion should

go on forever, but I know some people like to go to sleep. So things like

damage reflect, healing... a lot of that stuff there's already

functionality in there. We've got things like counter spelling, reflecting, copying

spells, changing targets. Now how designers decide to use those and like

what's an NPC ability versus what players can do and how those are all

hooked up, it's really up to the design team. But we're making sure to be

able to support all kinds of crazy stuff. One of the things I like to

do is to support just about anything that you could do in like a D&D style

game, or some of the stuff you can do in a Magic the Gathering game - all

kinds of cool things, like stripping spells, grouping up to counter spells so

that multiple people have to counter it - all that kind of stuff is already

available and isj ust in flux on what we're gonna do with them and

how those things will or will not work, and what things will do them. But

we'r etrying to make it as flexible as possible so they can do all kinds of fun,

cool stuff and ideally show off some new things that we don't see in a lot of

other games, or that are only in certain other games. So with one of the new

fights, there's the raid boss, and he throws his weapons. So he takes his

weapons, throws them out, and then they fly back, and they do damage or whatever

they want to anybody that gets hit along

the way. He's like throwing them out and they fly back, kind of like a boomerang.

And setting up that system and building it out so that it worked for that guy

but also so that we could theoretically reuse it wherever we want. I run around

and just screw around, throwing it on my own character now. I make my own guy just

throw his weapons out with my little test ability that does the same thing

and make it so that it's kind of an option, at least, to be a universal

spread-out thing. So that was one of the cool ones I had a lot of fun with."

So hopefully you now have a better idea of what to expect when it comes to

raiding in Pantheon. And before too long, we should actually be able to see a lot

of this in action for the first time with the reveal of Project Faerthale.

Because as Jason was alluding to in that last clip, the update will include a

fully functioning raid, as was previewed here. So we're definitely looking forward

to that, but until then, my name is Bazgrim and I'll see you in the next video.

The Description of Raiding in Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen - What to Expect