Welcome to the first article in our new series exploring Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen – an upcoming fantasy MMORPG from independent developers Visionary Realms, Inc. Over the next few months, we’ll be digging into the much-hyped crowdfunded title through interviews, fan feedback, and a breakdown of the many unique features that have its backers so excited.

Hot off the heels of a seven-figure funding acquisition, the game is making steady progress through its alpha despite the tragic passing of iconic industry figure and CCO Brad McQuaid. Brad McQuaid was the brilliant mind behind the much beloved MMO Everquest; his vision for a challenging, social MMO that would breathe new life into the genre lives on.

Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen is considered as a modernized spiritual successor to classic MMOs and takes place in a completely non-instanced, lore-rich world. Without further ado, here are the features that make us most excited to see this long-awaited title come to fruition.

Depth of Storytelling and Lore

Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen takes place on Terminus, a world formed through the shipwrecked fragments of dying planets. It hosts the surviving members of a multitude of races who were brought to Terminus by their revered Pantheons. Already, this fusing of sci-fi and fantasy would be a compelling mix, but through the storytelling of Pantheon’s resident lorekeeper Justin Gerhart, Pantheon promises a depth of narrative and lore rare in fresh IPs.

Terminus is a mysterious hybrid world compiled of broken fragments of other weird and wonderful civilizations and the gods that they worshiped. The setting provides untold options for exploration, adventure, hidden discoveries, and storytelling. Players will find lost worlds and discover them anew as new alliances, wars and events shape the world around them.

It features classic fantasy races, creative re-imaginings (check out their gnomes), as well as completely new additions such as the Archai and Dark Myr.

True PvE (Climates)

While Pantheon will contain PvP elements, it is PvE-centric to its very core. However, in Terminus, the fantastical beasts and insidious foes will be far from the only environmental threat. Visionary Realms have taken the E in PvE very seriously – the environments in Terminus will be a constant deadly threat that requires in-depth planning and tactics to traverse.

Pantheon’s diverse “climates” are not merely aesthetic, they are as lethal as any beast. From extreme heat to extreme cold, adventurers will need to plan-ahead if they hope to cross perilous terrain unscathed. How each character responds and interacts with these environments is incredibly individualistic. While climates like thunderstorms provide serious threats, move-invalidation, or incapacitation for some characters, others can use them to deploy new lightning-based abilities and supercharge others.

Tactical PvE (Atmospheres)

“Atmospheres”, including total darkness or magic silencing fog, can be found surrounding mystical sites and powerful foes. Just as with climates, atmospheres will force adventurers to plan-ahead if they hope to survive. A simple torch will not suffice in these darkest of dark places, players will need to source rare artefacts, enchanted loot, or spells if they hope to even make it through.

The world itself is designed to be as challenging as possible. While soloing the game will be possible, these climates and atmospheres force players to work together just to survive in these new inhospitable lands. In Pantheon, the environment is the storyteller, the challenge, and the king. And yet Pantheon embodies an ethos of “great risk leading to great reward”; legendary discoveries await those who dare brave the elements and embrace Terminus’s many dangers.

Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen - Concept Art

The NPC Disposition System

Non-playable characters in games across all genres tend to be somewhat predictable in their actions. It is a constant reminder to players that they are in an artificial world. Thanks to Pantheon’s NPC Disposition system, their characters will be dynamic, evolving and ever-changing. They will spawn with different personalities and behaviours that will fundamentally change player strategy.

NPCs take dispositions including the Craven, the Opportunist, the Alarmist, the Bully, the Protector, or the Strategist. These personality traits will define how NPCs interact with players and each other. The Alarmist, for example may rush for reinforcements as soon as they see an enemy. NPCs with other dispositions might flee completely or fight to their final breaths. Some will target vulnerable classes like healers forcing players to adapt their typical group strategies. A predictable world is a boring world, and a predictable world Terminus is not.

Wait, there’s more:

There is so much about Pantheon that gets MMO hearts thumping: from the mostly climbable world to the environment-led nuanced storytelling of the Perception system to the admirable focus on social gameplay. We will be digging into these features and attributes in subsequent dedicated articles in this series, so stay-tuned to our articles page for lots more Pantheon content on the horizon.

We want to provide a special shout-out to some passionate content creators and Pantheon hype-fans extraordinaire whose brilliant synopses of Pantheon content were highly useful for the creation of this series. For great video content on Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen, be sure to check out the channels of The Nathan NAPALM, BazgrimTV, and PantheonPlus.

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