I want to be very clear, for all the crap I gave Brad McQuaid back in the day for his vision; I always agreed with it in majority. It is still hard in some ways to accept that. Not because he wasn’t right, but because he acted so … know it all about it. I was younger then and it struck me wrong.
Aging has shown just how much we were (are?) the same I just didn’t like being told it at the time. When Everquest came out, I was about about midway through my gaming years having spent quality time in The Sierra Network’s (TSN) “Shadows of Yserbius” & “Fates of Twinion”, “Neverwinter Nights” and “Ultima Online”. While I don’t feel EverQuest was my first MMO (it clearly was not), it was where I found some life long gaming friends and friends well beyond gaming. I can honestly say “the Vision” drove the game, drove the players and made it something special. This is exactly what was missing from the likes of many many games since of which I feel I have tried most.
This isn’t to say everything he did is right and everyone else is flat wrong. I received much enjoyment in World of Warcarft, Rift, Horizons, Everquest 2, Vanguard, City of Heroes, Star Wars: Galaxies, Star Wars the Old Republic and who knows which games I am now forgetting. Each had its bit and provided value for my money. Never, however, did any touch on what Everquest was – not even my beloved Star Wars (SWTOR was never close, but damn if Galaxies wasn’t close before the combat upgrade). Each tid bit was just that, a tid bit. A miss here for forced factions, a miss here because the classes were flat, a miss there for repetitive actions that favored the few, a miss there for no real story and a miss here and there for terrible customer service to the players and a complete 180 from where you started. Everquest missed it when it started trying to be everyone else.
Due to all of this I have been waiting. Waiting to see what Wildstar will do. Waiting with huge anticipation to see what EverQuest Next is. While I still hold excitement I am fighting a few sighs of “oh man”. It was just after watching the SOE livestream about what they are doing when my buddy Timmeh said “Hey did you know Brad left SOE? Oh and here is his new project.
Immediately I was disappointed. Disappointed because I have to wonder if Everquest Next has a vision. I don’t mean the Brad McQuaid version, but a true direction and purpose for their game that wasn’t some mass desire to appease everyone. Enter Pantheon, Brads new project.
I wondered over to the Kickstarter of Pantheon via http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1588672538/pantheon-rise-of-the-fallen and held my breath (no seriously I did). I listened to the Q&A, read the comments and thought on it. I thought on it a lot. To follow it up, I went over to a forum that isn’t an official one but is a group of people who believe in the vision, talking about what we want from the game (http://pjpantheon.com/forums/). I found myself among like minds. And it was nice. I bounced back and forth between the forum and the kickstarter page over and over again. I linked in with Brad and the game via social media – continuing to run it all through my head.
So where am I with it? Brad will get some of my money. Period. I always support the things I believe in. Every game I have played, I have paid for it. I don’t care about the packages offered on kickstarter because I am not putting money in to get something special. I am putting money in because I believe in a vision. This one just happens to be Brad McQuaids. As a businessman would I invest in this project? No, not until I saw 50% accumulation of available assets because I don’t just want my money on the line. No until I saw a full set of financials, projections and all that good stuff. I would have, absolutely have to see the returns projections and from it formulate an exit strategy. But that is not what we are talking about, this is kickstarter. For kickstarter you only have to believe the folks behind the project can do it. This I do believe 100%.
It is at this junction I have my pause. I have my pause because I am not sure the 1500 of us on the project nor those talking on the forums is enough to get it in time. $800,000.00 is no small pill. But its paramount to the project. If the 1500 of us gave 1k, we would be done. But the fact is we are more along the lines of $40 at the bottom and $200 at the top. We have just hit on human nature. Additionally so many people being insta gratification structured harms the timing. A niche hard MMO (make no mistake Everquest was hard in comparison) which is more in line with old school dungeons and dragons will not see 1 million players. But we could see 50,000 to 100,000 players. It is to those players I write this.
So what do we need (yes I said we)? We need 24,000 people to give 50 bucks or 12,000 people to give 100. Sans either of those breakdowns we 1500 need to all up to $800. (yes my figure is the 1,200,000.00 mark and not the 800,000 baseline).
Here is my challenge to all of us; each of us that are guild leaders, each of us that run other gaming sites and such. Spread the word. Surely we know 24,000 people between us. If we break that into smaller chunks, those of us already on the line need to find 16 people to give up $50.00.
Go read about Pantheon and realize why I am asking you to do this. Games don’t have to be done by huge companies. They have to be done by people that care about gaming, even if it doesn’t equate to millions to dollars. When Everquest started, it cared. We have now come full circle again, lets remind the world we have a voice and we are tired of it not being heard. I believe 100% Brad and his team cares. Lets put our money where our mouth is.