A few months ago the news from Vanguard told the story of the "Pantheon of the Ancients". The revamp of the existing dungeon, introducing group and raid content scaled to players at the new level cap. It may have been quiet around our progression inside the Pantheon of the Ancients, but since it's release we have made a steady effort and worked hard to unravel the story behind the Pantheon and to earn the favour and respect of the Gods. We have come a long way since we first arrived at the Pantheon of the Ancients and our efforts finally led us to the first two raid encounters inside the Pantheon. Zaseh the Wise, Protector of the Halls of Order and Ataraxis the Devourer, Protector of the Halls of Chaos.
Two worldwide first kills for Xanadu.
Want to know exactly how our progression fared? Read more to find out...
Earning the favour and respect of those inside the Pantheon of the Ancients is not an easy thing. Our journey into the Pantheon started with having to prove we were worthy enough to even enter this building from which the Gods speak. Once inside the Pantheon we first had to pass the 12 trials set by the avatars of the Gods. After each avatar had given us their blessing, we were granted access to the 2nd floor of the first Halls. Soon it become apparent that each of us had an important choice to make, we had to align ourselves with either Chaos or Order. As each made their decision, we all found ourselves presented with the same goal: proving ourselves worthy to the alignment of our choice. We ventured to the places where we were able to obtain the Souls of our enemies, which earned us faction with our own alignment upon hand in. The total sum of faction necessary to be considered worthy enough is 28k, so as you can imagine it was not something finished in a short period of time.
While we were busy proving our worth to our alignment, the avatars of the Gods also started to give us something back. Bits and pieces of the history of the Pantheon of the Ancients. Artera Vandalay, the architect of the Pantheon, was chosen by the Gods to build the Pantheon for her unique ability to imbue structures with magic. She was one of the Ancients, a race of scholars, sages and masters of sorcery, who helped her build the Pantheon. They survived Telon's Cataclysm by hiding in the very structure they were building, while much else outside was destroyed. After the Cataclysm, Artera was instructed to finish the building of the Pantheon, she was also instructed in the creation of the Criminous. Beings that are perfect humanoids, building off the imperfections of all existing races. And she was given the directive to create an all-powerful leader of the Criminous, the Narkanous.
For a time the Ancients worked hard towards the completion of the Pantheon and Artera worked in secret on the Criminous, together with Ini-Herat, the powerful leader of the Ancients and her lover. When the Criminous were activated upon their completion, they were introduced to the other Ancients resulting in mixed responses. Those who welcomed them, however, were starting to teach them various things and as their knowledge increased it became time to activate the Narkanous, who fed on his followers' knowledge. Everything went well at first, until a change of events led the Narkanous to become out of control. It corrupted the other Criminous and the creatures started to devourer the Ancients. Artera and Ini-Herat were the only two who managed to escape out of the Pantheon, which they sealed off, locking all the Criminous inside. The avatars of the Gods informed us that this all happened in the first Pantheon of the Ancients, the one we were standing in was a second version.
With effort and (lots of) time, we were finally nearing the end of the 28k faction grind needed to prove our worth to our alignment. As we completed this enormous task, we were again put before an important choice. We had already chosen our alignment, now we had to choose which of the 6 Gods of our own alignment we wanted to align ourselves with. As each again made their decision, you could almost hear the grunts escaping everyone when we found out our next task was to prove ourselves worthy to the avatar of our chosen God with another 28k faction grind. We learned that after the first Pantheon was sealed off, Artera had been instructed to build another, a second, Pantheon of the Ancients. This Pantheon would be a testing grounds to form warriors strong enough to break the seal of the first Pantheon and defeat the creatures that were still inside. That was to be our fate, if we could prove we were strong enough. And we sure wanted to, as we believe the first Pantheon has been renamed "Halls of the Shattered Souls", which will be the upcoming new raid dungeon.
So we set off to prove this, through daily quests where we were instructed to kill significant enemies, as well as through obtained Offerings that we could hand in for faction. Time and effort are the main underlyings of progressing through the Pantheon and with time and effort we proved ourselves worthy and were finally granted access to the next Halls. In these Halls another quest awaited us. To prove we had the potential to become God Warriors, we first had to defeat the reflections of 4 former God Warriors. We were provided with a single lined hint to each warriors' locations and finding them was as much a challenge as defeating them. Though imposant by name, the actual God Warriors did not quite live up to our expectations and soon we had defeated all 4 former God Warriors. We had proven ourselves potential God Warrior material and were instructed with a final task that would grant us access to the Chamber of Life. The Chamber where the Halls of Chaos and Order come together at the Sisters Caia (The Shepherd) and Mara (The Fetid Reaper) and where we would be further instructed about our path towards becoming God Warriors.
Gaining access to the Chamber of Life involved harvesting the hearts and blood of our enemies, as well as defeating the Protector of the opposite Halls. The first two raid encounters inside the Pantheon of the Ancients. Those aligned with Order were instructed to obtain the head of Ataraxis the Devourer and those aligned with Chaos were instructed to obtain the head of Zaseh the Wise. And this we set out to achieve. Admittingly the birds were extremely bugged for a long time, they'd crash the chunk or their event would bug every single time, making them unkillable. Vanguard's developers have recently paid them some attention however and even though other guilds still claimed them unkillable we had to see this for ourselves. Although their encounters are not entirely bug free even now, we proved them very killable.
Even though we were plagued by a lot of crashes, some during very inconvenient moments, we managed to figure the encounter out after some time. Last Friday Ataraxis the Devourer was the first to bite dust, resulting in Xanadu's first worldwide kill of a Pantheon raid encounter. The screenshots won't win any awards, but everything was quite hectic due to a very fast corpse decay timer toppled with repops, so we were lucky to have some at all.
Now we had killed Ataraxis and our Order aligned players had obtained their long awaited quest updates, we could not let Zaseh the Wise get away. Sadly, he was giving us more trouble than he should have. Due to a not completely resolved bug in the event we were forced to abandon and restart the encounter multiple times until an engage that was completely bug free. Last Saturday we managed to get lucky with a bug free encounter and even though almost everyone in the raid crashed at least once during the fight, Zaseh went down, one day after Ataraxis, resulting in another worldwide first kill for Xanadu.
These kills were all that was left before finishing our quest that would grant us access to the Chamber of Life and we were anxious to enter the Chamber and see what the Gods had in store for us next. However, when we turned in our quests, it became apparent that we were not setting foot into the Chamber of Life just yet. This time not because of something the Gods required, but because there simply isn't anything beyond this point in game at the moment. Although our quests were finished, we were unable to breach the barrier towards the Chamber of Life and nowhere does there appear to be any follow up quest. This is the life of a gamer in Vanguard and albeit disappointing we have all learned the hard way that these things are unavoidable when you're on top of the content.
Hopefully we will soon see the next step go live so we can continue to pursue our path towards becoming God Warriors. Until then, we will stay behind the barriers protecting the Chamber of Life, longing we could breach it, but also knowing we should be able to. And with that knowledge and our two worldwide first kills, that will be enough to keep our spirits up while eagerly awaiting the moment we can continue the story of the Pantheon of the Ancients.
[ Last modified by Phyre 2009-10-25 04:22 (Full Log)]