I was in there for Wed/Thu, then again for Fri/Sat., playing my heart away. Level 7 monk. Level 2 wiz, level 2 paladin, level 1 rogue.
It feels like Vanguard cities with EQ camps and classes. The abilities are done differently, though I must say that not having some monk abilities implemented made for some tricky pulling. That is to say, dual wield and feign death are there, with 1 point in them, but no way to use or improve them. So I had real deaths instead. Xb
You get killed and arise with your clothes on, but your packs and inventory are on your corpse. Not too bad, except for the XP penalty. I died about ten times. Bad pulls, wandering (red to level 7) mobs, and falling through the world takes a toll on a gal: To the tune of leaving the game with a 6k+ XP debt that gets paid back in 4 - 12 XP increments per kill.
When you have a great group, the game is magic and the camp is cleared. When you have that one ninja-looter who is harvesting when you pull and is constantly OOM, you want to go find a new group. So few people were on (about 63 max), that booting someone who was a self-centered ass was harder to justify. We’ve all been there in groups like that.
Crafting is tedious and not the slightest bit fun, though there are special ingredients that can make better stuff. Items have very low stats. My best piece was a tunic that had 6 AC on it because I had special +1 AC thread when I made it. I bought my fist weapons at 12 silver per hand and they were the best monk items I’d seen in the game. Those lasted three levels before I noted a flattening of efficacy. I made a bo staff that rocked and when I was done, I gave it to a newbie who then plotzed. Xb It was 8dmg/4.5s My fist weapons were each 4dmg/2.5s. No-brainer, since a miss equals no damage for 4.5s, where it’s unlikely to miss twice with fist weapons and then there’s the fact that I have two of them going.
Different weapons allow you to use different abilities and there are supposed to be spell synergies, but those were not in evidence, so most people went with ice as wizards. I did like my bo techniques, but the fist weapons got the most love.
Climbing rocked - until pulling in full Erudite-mode kicked in at the skelly camp. Who cast darkness? Razzer-frazzer. But guess what? Those other f(r)iends in your group? They have circles around their class symbols in the group panel, with an arrow telling you where they are located in relation to how you are facing — Useful!
I went exploring and found quest people and rare crafting stuff and named mobs everywhere. It’s a good thing I’m a pluviophile, too, since when the rain comes, you are in it for the duration. There were places we couldn’t access because the walls were not able to be climbed or there was an artificial force field on the entrance (castle). Plenty to do until level 8, anyway. The water was not something you could swim in and there were places where you could fall in and croak from the fall damage. We got around that when I found a place you could “wade” into the water and walk along the bottom to loot. I hope that was a conscious decision by the devs.
As much as there was a lack of content, I didn’t hurt for things to do and two days felt too short. But three would have seen me at level 8 - 10 and godlike for what content there was. At 7, I still felt like danger existed in the world, and not just from wandering a-hole named mobs.
After ten years, I expected more. The XP penalty is so punishing that you either stop caring about it or go make a new character and hope that you don’t die. Good luck with that. Social mobs are in effect and some are a little crazy, so they run off at 90 degrees before chasing you, pissing off half the camp. Such is the thirst for a new EQ that I am still jonesing for more Pantheon, despite knowing the game just isn’t there yet.
Honestly, it’s the people. People who are largely my age, who get my jokes and who played EQ and understand their roles. The classes are unique enough to recognize when someone is doing a fantastic job. I met people who I think I’d love to game with each week. In two days! Just… yeah… Blown away by how much I hate raiding and want a game that doesn’t have it. That’s not this game, per se, but it’s close. Monsters and Memories is closer to that - and further along in a shorter span of time, with less development money. I needed a group for that game and people were really mostly doing their own thing when I was on. I will try again for the next M&M test and also will be back for another go at Pantheon.
I hope to see you there and that the devs have far more fleshed out! Like including more writing and the whole “discovery” system. There is so very little hand-holding, but that’s not what we liked about EQ. We liked finding out and then being the one in the know; for lack of a better term, “tribal knowledge,” where things get shared with those you get along with. It is the only real way to learn anything in Pantheon and was like this in EQ as well. Cool on some levels, but in no way newbie-friendly. And maybe too dated? I don’t want quest arrows. I certainly don’t want guidance worms like EQII. However, having a guard or NPC point the way wouldn’t be amiss. Also, the quest-giver should have some idea of where to find what they are looking for. The danger or labor is what they are avoiding, not the retrieval/delivery, per se.
Hmm… I’m getting into game design decisions. Very tricky, since not everyone agrees as to what makes a game fun/enjoyable. Oh! I will say this - you can put away your weapon! There is no sheathing animation (dirty!), but at least you don’t look like an idiot, running with scissors.