Posted by Stropp on
January 24, 2014
Speaking of Pantheon, as I did in my last post, I have been keeping track of how the Kickstarter campaign is going.
So far we’re about 11 days into the campaign, about a quarter of the way there, and there have been just short of $202,000 of pledges made by 1630 backers. A quarter of the minimum funding at the quarter way point.
As Wilhelm at TAGN observes (he has graphs, go have a look,) most Kickstarter campaigns appear to follow a reverse bell curve where they raise the most funds in the first and last few days of the campaign. It looks like, according to the graphs from Kicktraq (thanks for the link Wilhelm that is a handy site) that Pantheon is following a similar trajectory.
Star Citizen to compare, with a $500K goal raised $2,134,374 from 34,397 pledges, and has continued its crowd funding efforts apart from Kickstarter and has raised over $37 million. That’s over 4 times the original goal.
Shroud of the Avatar, Richard Garriotts triumphant return has a $1 million goal, where 22,322 backers pledged $1,919,275, almost twice what was hoped for.
Camelot Unchained raised $2,232,933 from 14,873 after asking for 2 million dollars, which is just a little above what they asked for.
If Pantheon continues raising funds at the same rate, it might get its $800,000 from about 6,400 backers, but won’t achieve even one stretch goal, and it looks like there’s a lot of content and systems in those stretch goals.
Here are some fancy graphs:
Pantheon Daily Backers
Pantheon – Daily Pledges
Pantheon – Projected Result
It’s the last one that should be concerning the Pantheon development team. It shows that the projected result will be somewhere between $433K and $782K, which even in the best case is short of the goal by about $18,000.
Now obviously you can’t take this as gospel. There are a lot of factors that could come into play into the next 30 days. It’s entirely possible that there could be a frenzy of pledging in that time that not only reaches the goal but hits some stretch goals too.
In comparing the Pantheon Kickstarter with the others above, it shows that there is far less confidence in that game than in the efforts by Garriott, Roberts, and Jacobs. But why?
Well, there’s a couple of reasons I think.
I suspect that, despite the nostalgia associated with old school MMORPGs, that a lot of players old and new have moved on. Systems such as forced downtime, forced grouping, and slow travel might be appealing to the hard core Everquest vets, but are they appealing to the gaming masses.
We have to remember that 15 years ago, Everquest players were in the majority MMO-wise with 400K at one point, but all of these people have gotten older, got married, started families, and built careers. Waiting for hours for a boat (or a corpse run) aren’t on the agenda anymore even if they do remember those activities fondly.
That alone is going to reduce the pool of pledges.
The other reason is historical. Roberts, Garriott, and Jacobs have a lot of successful games in their resumes, and they are considered legends of game development. Brad McQuaid has but one success, and that’s his involvement in Everquest. And while Garriott and Jacobs have had recent ‘failures’ with Tabula Rasa and Warhammer Online respectively, they have a string of hits previously which build confidence.
Brad however failed epically with Vanguard. When the game was released it was in a horrible state. While the game eventually reached the stage where it was actually not to bad, it should never have been released that early. However, lots of games, including World of Warcraft have been released early to initial poor reviews.
What did happen was that Brad McQuaid completely dropped the management ball while running the show, being completely absent from the office for months; reportedly staying in his office with no contact with staff until he just quit showing up at all. This lead to the infamous parking lot incident where the entire Sigil team were asked to meet in the parking lot and then unceremoniously sacked.
I wonder if this is the main reason that the Kickstarter campaign isn’t doing all that well. This incident didn’t happen all that long ago, and I have to admit that when I first heard of the Pantheon campaign, it was pretty much the first thing I thought of.
Despite all that I kinda hope that Pantheon at least raises its $800K and that Brad gets another chance at his dream. If he has learned the lessons of the past then it could turn out okay.
Will I pledge? Hmmm. Not sure. As I said in my last post, I’m not sure that Pantheon is the game for me, so I’ll wait and see I think.
How about you? Pledging or not?
Posted by Stropp on
February 19, 2011
Just a quick tip. If you need to find out the chat commands, type /help. This will give you instruction for finding out the various commands.
Typing ‘/help normal’ without the quotes will list all the commands available to you.
Typing /played will give you the amount of time you have spent on the character, and on your account.
Posted by Stropp on
February 19, 2011
Lunch time beckons so I’m taking a short break from Everquest to satisfy the foodish cravings. At one time I recall playing games, so focussed that I forgot to eat. That would be great these days as I need to lose a few kilos, but the reduced ability to play through is only one of the things affected by age. But I digress.
Last night when I left off, I had made it about 40% of the way to level 4. A couple of hours play this morning has seen that goal acheived.
I did a little exploring, had a look inside Blackburrow, but it wa’s bit harsh for a level 3, probably even a level 4. I might head in at level 5 or 6.
I spent my time mostly in the Qeynos Hills area. Unfortunately, QH seems to be far less populated with spawns than the Commonlands, and there were a few players there. Made it somewhat less interesting than Commonlands, but now I’ve leveled we’ll see if that improves.
I also ran into an old friend.
My Old Mate Fippy
Time for a rematch. This time there was no competition so I went at him. Although technically he attacked me first. Shortly afterwards the result was known.
There Can Be Only One
Nothing dropped this time. The last time I scored Fippys Paw which conveniently placed itself in my ranged slot. It’s not much, but improves a couple of stats, and can also be placed in my house if ever I get one.
Give Me A Hand Please
Hopefully when I get back this arvo, I’ll be able to add another level or two. At that time I’ll see about hitting Blackburrow.
Posted by Stropp on
February 19, 2011
No. Not Britany Spears. I succumbed to the addiction of altaholism.
It’s getting quite late, it’s coming up on 1:30am, so I’ll be quick.
I didn’t get any time to play on Fippy yesterday. By the time I was ready to get on and do some old skool grinding (so old skool it’s spelt wrong) it was 9pm. I logged in and found the servers all locked. SOE had taken them all down to do an update about a minute earlier, and was saying that the downtime was going to be 5 hours. That put paid to that.
I’d already got Stropp the Mage to level four on Wednesday, and logged him in again today (Friday) and spent about 90 minutes this afternoon adding about 50 percent of the next level running about the Commonlands. I also experimented a bit with the different pets, Water, Fire, and Air. Air seems to be the winner, but he gets lost a lot.
Around 9pm I was ready to have another go, but this time as I said, I couldn’t resist and created the Paladin I was considering. She ended up being a Half-Elf called Stroppadin and started in South Qeynos. Man is that area confusing!
I moved out to the North Qeynos front yard and started the killing process from scratch, but this time it seemed a lot faster. I hit level 2 within an hour and a half, and three about the same time later. I was even close enough to a yellow Fippy Darkpaw when he started his assault and managed to both do the most damage and get the kill, giving me a bit of loot including Fippy’s Paw which adds to some stats. Nice.
This time I did a bit more exploring and tried to do one of the quests that the guildmasters give out.
And was that ever frustrating. I had to deliver a note into the Catacombs, and for the life of me I couldn’t find a clear path to the recipient. I ended up leaving the zone and found myself in a pool that I couldn’t get out of. So I drowned myself. There’s something wrong with that whole thing I reckon. It needs to be better.
Funny enough the actual grinding isn’t too bad. I’m still enjoying the process and even the occasional death isn’t that annoying.
After the Catacombs I headed back into the yard and resumed the grind, I ended up about 40 percent to level 4 when I logged.
As for tomorrow, it’s Saturday so it’s a good time to do some more ever questing, and not make any more alts!
Posted by Stropp on
February 17, 2011
It didn’t take very long at all did it?
Within a few hours of the new Everquest progression server, Fippy Darkpaw, going live this thread (EXP Too Slow On Fippy) appeared on the official forums. I guess it’s not unexpected.
There are two main points being made in this discussion.
- Experience gain is much slower than it was on the original classic servers, and I’m not happy.
- It’s fine; I’m happy; Don’t complain.
Personally, while I found it a lot slower than I’m used too, killing 50 mobs to get to level 2 is very slow, the amount didn’t bother me all that much. I think I would have prefered to level a tad faster in the first two levels, and I think it would have helped move players on from the newby area faster too, but overall I enjoyed the experience of being in an area with many other players.
I’m not there yet, but from what I’ve read the leveling speed will increase as the levels increase past the low levels. Over the years, the hell levels of Everquest have been eliminated as SOE has smoothed out the experience curve. This should see a much smoother progression than existed on the classic servers.
It’s also a possible reason for the slowness of the first two levels. Smoothing out curves tends to make the ‘fast’ levels slower while speeding up the ‘slow’ levels. It’s just the price to be paid for a better game experience later on.
Still, there’s a few players that think that leveling is too slow. What about you. What do you think?
Posted by Stropp on
February 16, 2011
As mentioned a few days ago, the Fippy Darkpaw progression server for Everquest opened up today, or in my case, very early in the AM.
I was hoping that it would go live at midnight PST as that would have been around 7pm my time, but alas, it was not to be opening instead at 10am, which I figure was around 5am. There’s a 5am in the morning now?
As soon as I got up at around 8am, I logged into Everquest and tried to hop in to the server. Boom. The server was full and not letting anyone in. Doh! And… a second progression server had appeared on the server list. It looks like Fippy and the desire for servers as close to classic as possible was on everyones wish list.
Fortunately, I only needed to try to load the server a couple more times and before I knew it, I was staring at the character screen. Now the moment of decision. What class and race to make?
I had been advised by Tipa that a Cleric would have been great for getting groups, or a Necro or Beastlord best for soloing. Unfortunately, Beastlord was included as a later expansion along with a couple of other classes, and a few races. I didn’t want to go Necro as evil races had a hard time in early EQ, and a Cleric ain’t all that great for leveling.
The choice ended up being between making a Paladin or a Mage. I ended up choosing the Mage path since I had never tried that before, and a Mage is a good soloer and also wanted in groups. I also wanted to start in Freeport, so for that I chose Human. After a bit of fiddling, Stropp the Mage is born. Here he is in all his pinkish-purple glory.
Pink, oh glorious pink. I just want to wear it!
After doing the initial handing of the tattered note, I headed out for the West Freeport gate, and crowds like there were on Launch Day.
I expected there to be a lot of players on, and in fact from what I saw on chat and the forums it looks like I missed the bulk of them. Greater Faydark was the most crowded zone, I think that’s where Crushbone resides, and that is a big nostalgic zone. As I said, I was feeling nostalgic for Freeport, so that’s where I headed.
Click for a bigger picture
I was greeted with many rat, bat, and Orc corpses. Early on, it was quite difficult to find something to kill, I can only imagine how hard it would have been right at the start. But I did find some critters, and kill them I did.
One of the things SOE did with the progression server is lower the amount of XP for each kill. They did this quite substantially. When I tried out this zone on a normal server on the weekend, I leveled up from 1 to 2 in about 15 minutes getting about 10% per white kill, a little less for a blue. This morning it took nearly 90 minutes to get to level 2, and I estimate I was getting between 1 and 2 percent for a white kill. Unsurprisingly, this drew a few comments in OOC chat.
Behaviour was mostly pretty good. I was KS’d a couple of times. Which was probably fair because I reckon more than a couple would have thought I had done the same. That’s the problem with winding up for a spell, it can take a few moments in which someone else thinks the target is free.
As I write this, I’m now sitting on level 3.5. After getting to level 2, I picked up my first pet and headed into the Commonlands. Despite a lower density of critters, I found my leveling a bit faster and hit 3, about an hour later.
I’ve died three times during this first session. Once due to a red train in the CL, one due to picking a fight with something beyond both myself and my pet, and once due to a silly mistake the details of which are a bit fuzzy. Thank goodness for repressed memories.
Overall I’ve enjoyed the session, and I reckon I’ll be playing out the remaining free period. I think I’d like to resubscribe just for this, but that’s not really on the cards at the moment.
Still, this server is not going anywhere soon. It looks like a complete success, given the number of players on the server, and the leveling is so slow that no-one is going to be at the level cap by the end of the coming weekend. And there is also the voting system. The next expansion won’t be going live until the majority of players over level 30 vote for it to do so. That won’t happen for at least three months as far as I can tell.
If you are playing on Fippy over the next few days, or are thinking of doing so, give me a shout in the game (or leave a comment below) and we can catch up and smack down a few firebeetles together.
Posted by Stropp on
February 11, 2011
I’ve just updated my Everquest install, logged in, and realised that the Fippy Darkpaw server doesn’t go live until the 15th of February. So much for 11 days on FD, it’s now down to six.
Still, I’m going to give it a go, but because of the limited amount of time, won’t be creating thousands of alts to try and work out the best character for me.
What I’m going to do, however, is give you that job.
I’d like you to make some suggestions on what kind of character you think I should create. What class/race combination and starting zone do you think would work based on the following criteria?
- The Fippy progression server will not have any expansion content available, I expect that any races or classes not in the original game will not be available at the server launch. By the same token, it is unlikely that the mercenary system won’t be available either.
- I tend to solo. I’m not averse to grouping but have often found my timezone (GMT +9:30) doesn’t help in finding players. Tipa assures me that the server should be busy during my timezone, but I’d still like to be able to solo in case I find myself alone.
Once the server goes live, I’ll create the character and spend as much time as I’m able, and I’ll give you a running blogetary of my progress.
I’d love to hear your suggestions. Can you leave them in the comments below, or on Twitter at @Stropp.
Posted by Stropp on
February 11, 2011
I just received an email from the folks at SOE. Here ’tis.
A few months ago I unsubscribed my Station Access due to budgetary concerns, which meant that not only did I lose access to Everquest 2, but also to Vanguard and Everquest 1.
Since then I’ve dabbled back in LotRO, but haven’t really done much gaming at all apart from finally completing Fable 2 on the XBox 360, and spending a few minutes playing Forza, also on the XBox.
It looks like this account reactivation is limited to rerolling on the Fippy Darkpaw server. This server is a progression server, which take the player back to the original release of the game, without any of the expansions active (if I’m not mistaken.) As players reach certain in-game goals, the expansions will be added one at a time.
I have to admit to being very tempted. The problem of course is that this offer is only available for 11 days, from the 10th of Feb to the 21st, which doesn’t leave a lot of time. The fact that this is a progression server makes me wonder if all the niceties that EQ has added over the years (in terms of removing the grind) are still in the game, or if it will take weeks to get past level 10. Worth having a look just for that I think.
Still, it’s free, so I can’t argue with that. I like free.
Update: That’ll learn me to improve my reading comprehension. The Fippy server doesn’t open until the 15th, which only leaves 6 days to explore the new server. In the meantime, the existing servers are available to use.
Posted by Stropp on
May 31, 2009
There’s been a little discussion of late about the nature of Everquest 3. Tipa has been proposing that EQ3 will use the client/server model that seems to work so well for Free Realms. This model works by streaming data as the user plays, not by downloading a single large patch before playing. Ogrebears has taken the opposite viewpoint in that a hypothetical Everquest 3 would have a much larger data footprint than Free Realms which would make a streaming data model impractical (for a number of reasons.)
[adsense_id="1"]So why are we talking about Everquest 3?
Well, it appears that SOE have a new project in the works, and that this project has been the destination for a couple of high profile members of the EQ:OA and EQ2 teams. (Sorry, I read this the other day and can’t find the article.) This would seem to suggest that the new project is something at least related to Everquest.
However, I’m going to disagree with Tipa’s premise. I don’t believe that SOE are developing Everquest 3. I think that the effect that EQ2 had on EQ1 is reason enough for them to go for a new IP.
Everquest 2 had a big impact on Everquest: Online Adventures. Players left for the new game and didn’t come back when EQ2 wasn’t what they had hoped for. (Some did come back, true, but WoWs arrival a few months later siphoned off a lot of disillusioned EQ2ers.)
So with both Everquest and Everquest 2 now seeing a measure of stability — a player base that seems fairly healthy and consistent — why would SOE jeopardize this by releasing another sequel?
But if the potential for destabilizing the existing playerbase is an issue, the other is lack of freedom. If SOE decide to go the EQ3 route they are constrained to follow the existing lore of both games closely. The alternative is to risk alienating the players who love the world and lore of Norrath. The big advantage of developing a new IP is that the developers can pretty much do anything they want, go in any direction they want. And the players get something fresh and new.
Finally, as has been pointed out before, there’s a perception that MMORPG sequels don’t tend to do all that well. Having said that, there have been precious few sequels to be able to validate this, and (as I believe) it has more to do with managing expectation and execution rather than the fact of being a sequel. But, there’s a perception of greater risk with sequels, and I’d have thought this would have been taken into account by SOE’s marketing department.
So I just don’t think the new game will be EQ3 set on Norrath. I’m expecting something new.
Of course, I also don’t see how Hollywood can justify doing sequels and remakes of old movies and TV shows out the wazoo either.
As just an aside, developing a new project is expensive. Given the current recession, perhaps this is a big part of why SOE have canned The Matrix Online, to open up some funds for whatever it is they are developing.