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This world is vast and untamed. Just over the horizon are distant lands we’ve only heard rumor of, and beyond those, more exotic and unknown places await, all with their own unique culture, history, and geography. There are frosty mountain peaks, scorching deserts, endless plains, dense forests, murky swamps, tempestuous oceans, deep and foreboding caverns, and everything in between. We might start down a path to the next town but if we were to keep going, who knows where we’d end up, and like as not, the people there would not recognize the lands from whence we came.

Of course, there’s life in this world, everywhere you look. Towns and villages, kingdoms and empires, tribes and settlements, gentle animals, ferocious beasts, monsters, and creatures of aspects yet more strange, beautiful, and terrible. Sometimes friends, and sometimes foes. Sometimes hunters, and sometimes prey. Sometimes peaceful but often in conflict. And yet, all interwoven into one rich tapestry, never-ending and ever-changing. Wherever we go we have but to look and we will see something new.

Where there is life, there is also history. Ancient ruins, standing as long-forgotten reminders of those who built them. Battlefields, monuments to both the vain and epic struggles of the past. Riddles and mysteries, forgotten places and hidden secrets, awaiting those who would come looking. Some may lead to wealth and power, others to terror and despair, but all sing with an enticing voice.

In some places, evil lurks, foul and terrible, bent on reshaping the world in its image. Forces rise in opposition of course, as torches and fires hold back the cold and the night. Some will sputter and die, others will burn brightly and strong, and yet the fire that burns too brightly can also blacken that which it touches, and often does. In between are the petty struggles and conflicts of people and of nations, neither wholly good nor wholly evil, yet no less important for it.

And then there are the people. Both those content with their lot in life, whatever that may be, and then those of my ilk. The wanderers. The explorers. The restless. The driven. The discontent. We come from many different races and backgrounds, with different objectives, but the single thread that binds us is that all of us have taken those first steps on a path to something greater. Some of us strive for wealth, some of us for power and glory, and some of us simply can’t sit still. Some of us master the sword, or the spear, or the bow. Some of us learn to harness the arcane forces that surround and shape the world. Some of us gain power by treating with spirits or fallen celestials, or even perhaps the energies of nature itself. Some of us are defined by might, others by our wits, and others by our knowledge.

Some of us are skilled artisans, serving to equip and outfit our fellows, and better the lives of the peoples of the world through honest labor. Some of us are scholars, researching the secrets of the world, delving into the forgotten and the mysterious. Some of us are diplomats, working through word and deed to sway opinions and form alliances.

Some of us will always wander, always on to the next horizon, the next mission, the next secret. Some of us will one day settle in a distant land, and build a house, or a shop, or a tavern; a place to rest and return to between our travels. Perhaps it will be in one of those kingdoms or empires that we have traveled through, or perhaps we will reclaim a forgotten or lost part of the world, creating civilizations in our own image where none existed before.

As we travel this world, we shape it in our wake, and we are in turn shaped by it. For better or for worse, the deeds we perform have an impact beyond ourselves, and that impact cannot always be foreseen. Whether it’s by vanquishing our foes or simply helping people, our names will come to be whispered on the wind. Perhaps in praise and hope, but likely also in fear and hatred, depending on the source. We each will write our own story, our own legend, our own tales of adventure.

Though our tales all may begin and end at different places, in different ways, along the way we will cross paths. We are never alone. We will share in triumphs and victories. We will stand alongside each other in the face of dangers and ordeals. Perhaps we will be allies in parts of our tales, or opponents in others, or merely witnesses to each other’s journey. Whatever it is, when it’s all said and done, each of us will have shared in the unique stories of the others.

This is Terminus. It may not have been the world of our ancestors, but it is our world now.

I wrote this because recently I had a disagreement with some fellow supporters about whether Pantheon should be a world with a variety of meaningful activities that players can pursue, or an adventure game where everyone chases after monsters and loot and character progression. I hope that these few words convey my viewpoint, hopes, and expectations effectively.
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It should be a world, rather than just a combat simulator. :) People live in worlds, they play combat simulators. As a design goal, does VR want players, or citizens, in Pantheon?
Citizens subscribe ~forever. Players subscribe right until the moment they can no longer increase personal power. The last 20 years has proven this in every NA PvE MMO that has ever released more than one expansion.

There is no downside, from the perspective of subscriber retention, to having more activities for the paying customer to participate in.