A First Look at Battlestar Galactica Online at gamescom 2010

Battlestar Galactica has earned a time slot in our lives not only this recent generation but in also previous generations.

Battlestar
Galactica
has earned a time
slot in our lives not only this recent generation but in also previous
generations. Many of us sit huddled around the television set from week
to week watching episodes of the sci-fi series that has entertained us
so thoroughly. So when Bigpoint announced earlier this year that they
had obtained the rights to develop the IP into an MMOG it was hard not
to get excited. I headed over to the Bigpoint booth at gamescom to try
to glean some more information from the team and find out what exactly
the game was going to be all about.



To Bigpoint, browser based gaming has become more of a platform than a
genre. They have put technology to the test with their strides forward
on what can be accomplished through a simple browser. Even when they
pulled up the game on the computer in the room, it was still hard for
me not to be surprised at how good the game actually looked. The
graphics were clean and sharp and by all rights, the game looked as
good as any space-shooter-MMOG that uses a proprietary engine.


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Battlestar
Galactica Online
is still in
very early stages of development. It’s not even in its Alpha
phase yet. As for the gameplay, one won’t need to be entirely
knowledgeable of the television series as the story in the game will
introduce players to the universe and lore. Players will be able to
create a 3-D avatar and customize it as one would in any other RPG.
During creation the choice will be up to the player if they wish to
play on the side of the Cylons or the Humans.



The training of the game will be set up through introductory missions.
Bigpoint wants players to jump right into the action and feel that
they’re already in the game right after character creation,
without having to poke their way through a standard tutorial.



PvP will be the focus of the game, but more importantly, the company
wants the PvP to be open instead of whisking their players off to a
closed confined instance. The controls are standard WASD movement but
there is also support for mouse tilting and even click-to-move.


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Flight physics are in the game, but it is not yet determined how much
Bigpoint wants the physics to affect the game. They want some ships to
feel large and bulky but others need to be fast and agile. It is
possible, though not at all confirmed, that players may be able to
eventually command Battlestars, but for now the team is focusing on all
types of ships from small fighters to cruiser-sized vessels.
Some of
the ships will be recognized from the series while others will be
all-new. These new ships, though, along with all the content in the
game, will be endorsed and approved by Universal Studios.



Galaxy maps will allow players to check the status of contested areas.
If there is a large battle going on, these areas will appear in red.
From here we will also be able to see factional standing of the war
going on. That being said, the game is not about winning the war, but
more about winning the battles—taking control of the star
systems or the resources within the star systems.



Did I say resources? Yes, I did. Mining, of course, will be a big part
of the game, but it will not be a complex system. For smaller asteroids
players can simply move up the rock, fire their abilities and collect
the resources. The small mining nodes will be a casual, quick
experience with very little risk of being attacked. Bigpoint likened
mining to more of a picking flowers in style="font-style: italic;">World of Warcraft
system as opposed to mining in style="font-style: italic;">EVE.
However, the larger areas, as known from the series, are a different
beast. These large efforts will be industrial mining and will be done
on planetoid-sized rocks which will be scarce and one of the main
targets for the exploration portion of the game. These areas will
likely be contested and since it won’t involve fast
scoop-and-grab mechanics, and there will be risk of being attacked. The
planets will first need to be conquered, then populated by mining
ships. After the mining ships arrive, it will not be necessary to wait
around as the resources will automatically be deposited into your
payroll. As mentioned though, the areas may be contested so there will
always be the risk that your mining ships may come under attack at some
point.


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As for the story, the game will take place in an extension of the
universe seen in the series. Bigpoint has been given license to deviate
from the set story of the series, within set parameters. The story will
be plausible to style="font-style: italic;">BSG
fans, but the story in the game won’t be a simple repeat of
what has been seen on television. This applies to the character avatar
as well as the space combat. Players will be able to walk around the
Battlestars and other locations and meet characters like Adama to
receive missions and otherwise interact. Bigpoint feels it’s
important to have these interactions in the game, but the main portion
of the game will be fleet and tactical combat.



The game will be free-to-play with microtransactions. The team is
making it quite clear that it will be free to play from beginning to
end, without ever a need to use the cash shop. Players who play free
are an important part of the development of the game, as Bigpoint wants
to ensure that the game is a fun experience for them from A to Z. The
microtransactions will come into play when players want to take the
game experience to the next level in terms of core immersion. The items
available are still being discussed, but will likely include
modifications for ships and personal insignias. They will not cut out
parts of the game for non-paying customers.



Battlestar
Galactica Online
is scheduled
for launch this winter.



To read the latest guides, news, and features you can visit our Battlestar Galactica Online Game Page.

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