You mentioned Pantheon of the Ancients, and that's another one of my questions. What will Pantheon of the Ancients be bringing to the game? What can the players expect from the new dungeon and raid?

"Pantheon will not look the same as the rest of the game. We have all new textures and brand new monsters, really cool ones that were created just for this zone."

Thom: Our first launch for Pantheon is going to be including new 6 man raid content. There will be a little more content past that, but you're looking at mostly a 6 man group.

Pantheon will not look the same as the rest of the game. We have all new textures and brand new monsters, really cool ones that were created just for this zone. It's pretty exciting. I've got a walkthrough this week from the designers, and it is really looking awesome.

Along the lines of that, in our attempts to get content out, we're incorporating new quest lines, new loot, new rare drops. We're incorporating the three spheres of diplomacy, crafting, and adventuring into this release. There's alot of work that's been done, and the unfortunate and fortunate part of this is that this is just the first part of Pantheon. The higher end raiding portion of Pantheon will be coming out as we're working on the customer request list, but we will be doing all of that work simultaneously.

That's just a process of balancing, mostly. Different areas to play in and not to have raids and groups playing on top of one another. It's just quite a bit of work to juggle.

This is a simple question, but there seems to be something more to it. I noticed that you were increasing the level cap from 50 to 55, which is something usually reserved for an expansion. I'm interested in your thought process behind raising the level cap.

Thom: Well, we have quite a few players, a large percentage, that is already at the cap of level 50.

This is the kind of value that we keep adding to Vanguard. Something that you've already paid for, we just keep adding more and more value for your money. You don't need to go out and spend 20, 30, or 40 on a new expansion. We've chosen to do content and level expansions, giving you new race/class combinations, all with existing content and your existing purchase of Vanguard.

We felt that this is something that the players would appreciate more rather than going out and purchasing a new box.

Speaking of leveling, there's a little note here on your Producer's Letter about alternate advancement. Can you shed some more light on that?

Thom: We're building a way for you to advance your character, well, I guess, alternatively.

*laughs*

Thom: But the idea is you can build your character out so it's a bit more specialized in things like damage, or mitigation, or spell damage. So you can specialize any way you want.

We're working on that now, and it's something we're looking to launch in the raiding portion of Pantheon. So if you really love your character and want to specialize in something more, be a little different then the rest of your class, then AAs will be coming with the second part of Pantheon so you can customize your character further in the higher level.

So, then, let's pretend for a moment that I've heard about Vanguard, but I don't own it and this Collector's Edition box isn't sitting next to my desk. In fact, let me hide this box for a moment.

Thom: *laughs*

So I've only heard about Vanguard. I heard about the rocky launch, it's been two years into the game and many people are at level 50. Why should a new player pick up Vanguard today?

"So I'd say come on back and we'd love to have you. I'd like to prove that we've been able to take a rocky launch and make it into a better game."

Thom: I think that if you're interested in playing a game that is a little bit different than the hack and slash games, Vanguard gives one of the best vistas and looks of any game I've played or been associated with. It is incredible to just hop on a flying mount and just see the vast areas that have been created for Vanguard and explore this artwork that is inspired by Keith Parkinson and continues on with our current art team.

This is something you don't see in every game. I'm not saying we're doing something that nobody else has done. But I'm saying the views, the artwork, the level in detail in Vanguard can measure up to some of the highest games you can think of.

If you're looking for visual, but also exciting playstyles, you have three spheres of progression you can choose to be an expert in. So, I guess the experience in Vanguard is just limitless.

Well thank you for your time today, Thom. This has been very insightful. Any last words you have for everyone? Anything we should know about?

Thom: Thank you! Let's see! Well, check out my producer's letter on the forums and you can see what the team has put together. The game is certainly getting out to new audiences. If you've tried us in the past or haven't tried us, then come on back, we have free trials on the website. You can also find it now on Steam as well as FilePlanet, so this is a great time for Vanguard and our team right now.

So I'd say come on back and we'd love to have you. I'd like to prove that we've been able to take a rocky launch and make it into a better game.

This article was originally published on Massively.