Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen - Season 2 Comments

As we enter the last week of Pantheon’s Season 2, I feel compelled to comment on my experience this season compared to last season.

In Season 1, I played for only 1 week as a Supporter class pledge. Supporter level pledges were only given 1 week at the end of each season to play. I played as much as I could in that one week and enjoyed what I experienced despite the game’s limitations and bugs. I enjoyed it so much that following that 1 week experience I upgraded my pledge from Supporter to Champion so that I could get 2 weeks every season instead of just the 1 week.

The seasons run concurrently. As soon as one season ends, the next season begins. Each season lasts 6 weeks. The first 4 weeks are devoted to the higher tier above Champion. This means that by the time I was able to login for the first time in Season 2, the season had been open for roughly 1 month for the very select few. 

The first week of my Season 2 time was nice. I learned through conversation with others that the bug from Season 1 about only the first toon on each account being able to craft was false. In fact, every toon on any account could craft all along. It turns out that ALL crafting is dependent on each toon accepting and completing an intro quest. If you don’t perform this quest for a specific NPC then NONE of the crafting trainers or crafting quests will be available to that toon.

That seems like a bit of a design misstep to me. I can’t imagine blocking players for learning all crafting skills for missing a single quest. And what was worse, the required prerequisite quest was only accessible through a letter that was in the toon’s starting inventory. If you deleted the item then there was no way to go back and get that quest or any of the subsequent quests that would have given you access to crafting skills. That just seems poorly thought out to me to have this one quest act as a gate to core game mechanics with absolutely zero methods to recover if missed or lost.

Beyond that, I didn’t notice any real changes or differences. Still only Human race. Still the same handful of classes. There were some minor graphics changes to some of the rock textures, rain, night, and maybe a few others. Season notes indicated that a new dungeon, a new zone, and few more things were added but nothing significant.

But it wasn’t what was added that stood out to me. It was what was removed.

Mana was turned off. If you chose a class that used Mana to cast spells, that mana pool was turned off. Likewise, the Mastery system where you could earn and spend Mastery Points to improve certain spells had been suspended. Sure, I could still earn Mastery Points but I couldn’t do anything with them.

Beyond those few additions and subtractions, not much else was changed between last season and this season. And I believe that was the plan, that the seasons would include minor changes and the developers would gradually roll out more and more as the seasons progressed. 

In terms of player experience, the first week of gameplay was good. I saw all my old haunts from the previous seasons. I repeated a lot of the same content to see if there was any change or if there was a different experience since I had to create a new toon to get my crafting skills on my preferred class of Paladin. Everything seemed to play the same. I leveled up quickly using the bees just as I had done in the last season. I befriended another player who helped me to transfer gear from my busted toon to my working toon. My crafting growth was slow but steady given that it was linked to my overall adventure level and I had rerolled that toon.

Eventually, I had surpassed my level from the last season on the other toon and was to a point that I felt comfortable adventuring to new lands. My new friend showed me a quality hunting place in a new zone. The mobs were “yellow cons” to my level 7 paladin which meant it was good exp but each fight was risky. I was well equipped so I was able to hold my own against the higher level creatures and steadily gained experience.

And then things took a turn for the worse.

I had been shown this spot just before the Support level pledges gained access to the game for their 1 week of play. The first day, I had befriended another player who was hunting in the same area. He was looking for a rare spawn that dropped a special weapon for his Monk. We agreed to split the effort. There was 2 different camps in the area and we weren’t sure which camp the spawn he wanted would appear in. He would take the lower camp and I would take the higher camp. If I saw the spawn he wanted in my camp, I would let him know so he could come get his weapon.

It was a good arrangement and we went to work. For the next couple of hours, he killed things in his camp while I killed things in mine but neither of us saw the spawn he wanted. Eventually, he logged off and left me to continue my grind alone. In a twist of fate, less than an hour after he logged off, I spotted the spawn he wanted in my camp. I tried to contact him but he was still on the other server, I assume, so I was left to deal with the spawn alone. At that point, I decided I would take the spawn, get the weapon, and give it to him the next time he logged in on that server.

Unfortunately, things did not go as planned.

I waited until the target was separated from the other mobs in the area before I engaged. It was another yellow con so I hoped I could get the kill but knew it would be a challenge. What I didn’t know was that attacking this mob would cause it to summon help from the others. It wasn’t that they were so close to me that I aggro’d them in the process but that the Queen summoned them.

I died.

This meant that I needed to run back to the camp and spend some time killing not just some but ALL of the other mobs in the camp before attacking the Queen. I ran back to the camp and began my assault. One by one, I killed the others. It was a bit of a slog but I had managed.

And then I got pissed!

As I was halfway done killing the last regular mob in the camp, a group of other players stormed in and attacked the Queen. There had been no camp check call by the players. There had been no private message from them to me to ask if I was camping or cared if they killed the Queen. There was no common camp courtesy. They just ran up, attacked the Queen, and stole my camp. I had spent hours running that camp waiting on that spawn and they just run in like a group of brigands and took what was mine.

And then to rub salt in the wound, after they killed the Queen, the group ran up to my kill and started attacking it. I had to tell them to back off or they would have stolen another kill. I mean, I would have gotten the xp for it since I had it almost dead but what balls did they have to have to charge into my camp, take my named spawn, and then run over and start beating my target without so much of an apology or ask.

After I told them to back off, they just ran away. No ask about the camp. No apology for their killing of my spawn. Nothing. Just take my kill and flee. I called them out in the OOC channel and they offered the lame of excuse of “we didn’t see you” but that doesn’t account for the lack of a camp check which is common courtesy in MMOs. Also, if they ran up and found a largely empty camp expect for the named then that should tell them that the camp is NOT EMPTY and a player is camping there.

The whole experience with that group was rude to me. They stole my kill. They stole my drop that I had spent hours waiting to see. They didn’t exercise any common courtesy. They didn’t even offer any real form of an apology after they saw me OR after I called them out for it. I was so angry that I just logged off. I had just spent hours on something to have someone else ruin it for me. I needed a break.

The next day, I logged in and returned to the same hunting spot. It was good xp and I didn’t want to let the experience of the previous day to ruin the spot completely. This time, I had only be there less than an hour when another group came in and did damn near the same thing. This time the Queen wasn’t up but they just rolled in and started to killing my mobs right in front of me. It was clear I was there and hunting that camp but they just rolled in like I wasn’t there and started killing whatever they wanted. Part of me feels they were members of the group from the previous day just getting retaliation for being called out in public chat for their actions the day before but I honestly don’t remember the names of those dicks.

Frustrated by the same thing happening twice in two days, I just logged off again. Part of me considered finding a new hunting spot but the idea that roaming groups of assholes would just run in and kill my stuff again just irritated me to the point that I didn’t want to play anymore. I considered rolling a new character with a class I hadn’t played before to see what that was like but the notion of repeating all of the starting quests and content again just didn’t appeal to me. I would have rather not played than so soon repeated what I had played so many times already.

I’m a firm believer that the douches that ruined my weekend playing Pantheon were Supporter level pledges. The toons were low level. They were names that I had not seen all week before Supporter pledges were allowed to play. And the server had seen a significant increase in player levels since that last group’s access had been enabled. Before the Supporter pledges had access, I never saw more than 3 or 4 other players in that entire zone but after the Supporter pledges were allowed in the zone never had less than 10-15 players. That’s just too much of a coincidence for me to ignore.

I will continue to play for this last week of the season but this negative experience will remain in the back of my mind. I will never feel comfortable in any camp.I will be distrustful of anyone who comes near whatever it is I’m fighting. I know that I could control a camp like there better with a group to create a more efficient xp gain but I want to see what’s where as a solo player and not speed through the content. I want to know where my and my friends can go hunt when the game is released and we can all play together. 

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