I was reading about development on a new view port engine for Blender 2.8. EEVEE is going to be a real-time rendering engine based on Uber PBR.
Here is the article:
It wont be a game engine but they did say it would be able to convert Cycles nodes to the real-time engine and attempt to be as close of a match as possible with a Cycles render. I downloaded 2.8 and it crashes so I haven’t been able to try it out.
You may be able to drop the viewport and use EEVEE’s Cycles-to-PBR GLSLs to reduce the workload for Armory.