We're not even thirty days into the New Year yet and everyone is
giddier than a geek at a Star Trek convention with all the news
surrounding a fresh wave of href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/node/61384" target="_blank">science
fiction based MMOG's coming to the
market. With all the tribble loving going on right now, you might think
there's little for fantasy fans to go gaga over. Would I have named my
weekly column Forever Fantasy if that were the case? In the words of
one of the greatest villains of all time, "I find your lack of faith
to go find this game!
After the flurry of rumors bandied about last year, hopes are still
high that an Elder Scrolls MMOG will be forthcoming from ZeniMax Online
Studios, the sister company of Bethesda Softworks. Long before the days
of Oblivion and Morrowind, Bethesda created Daggerfall, the second game
in the Elder Scrolls series. While Morrowind was heralded as an RPG
masterpiece with a land of massive expanse, I'm here to tell you that
if you can find a system that can still run it, you owe it to yourself
to play Daggerfall. Morrowind was a mere pinprick on the tapestry of
land found within Daggerfall. The size, scope, and depth of the game
was mind boggling and could provide more hours of entertainment than
nearly any game since.
ZeniMax acquired $300 million in additional funding last year and while
they haven't confirmed an Elder Scrolls MMOG is in the works, they
haven't blatantly denied it either. Reasons to pursue such a course of
action are many, and we can only hope to see this vision fulfilled. The
series has a staggeringly immense library of lore to pull from,
including land masses, a volatile political structure, and more races
than many games today. Combine this with a name so well known and
respected within the RPG world, and I'll be completely flabbergasted if
we don't hear something concrete about this project in the future.
The Elder Scrolls MMOG may be a rampant rumor right now, but former Red
Sox pitcher and founder of 38 Studios, Curt Schilling, has been making
waves again with news of href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/taxonomy/term/883"
At this stage of the project,
Copernicus is just a working title and little is still known about it.
Normally my vaporware warning system would be on high alert right about
now, but 38 Studios continues to flesh out their staff and they've been
gathering anything but rookies. I’ll give you a few examples.
Todd McFarlane, Executive Art Director, was one of the country's most
influential comic artists of the 90's with his bold and dramatic style.
Not only that, but the level of art and detail embodied in his toy
lines was unheard of back in the day and completely changed the action
figure world forever. Not enough oomph, you say? Alright, lay this one
on for size. target="_blank">R.A.
Salvatore, Executive Creator of Worlds, is the
visionary behind one of the most cherished and recognized characters in
the realm of fantasy. You'd be hard pressed to find any lover of
fantasy fiction that doesn't know who Drizzt Do'Urden is. Salvatore's
books have sold over 15 million copies combined... 15 million! That's a
lot of potential fans in the making.
Also free to
All this is well and good, but none of those people know how to make
video games, let alone an MMOG, right? Right you are, but no one said
the gang at 38 Studios was stupid. The game's world and content may be
a secret, but the experienced industry veterans they've been grabbing
certainly aren't. From Audio Director, href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/node/50360" target="_blank">Aubrey
Quest, and more), to former Everquest Lead Designer, Travis McGeathy,
they're building a dream team of talent. It remains to be seen how well
the all-stars work together, but if the game can meet the full
potential of this team, you may as well start buying lottery tickets
now. The only chance you'll have of survival after this releases is to
be sure you never have to work again.
Not to be left out in the cold from all this fantasy fun, ArenaNet is
hard at work on href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/taxonomy/term/183"
Wars 2. Guild Wars was arguably the first
successful F2P MMOG in the Western world. To the delight of the masses,
Guild Wars 2 will follow in its predecessor’s shoes by
avoiding the need for a subscription fee. How they've managed to make a
profit strictly from initial box and expansion sales, I have no idea,
are due to them for it.
Guild Wars 2 will take place over 250 years after the current iteration
of the world. Level caps will be pushed past 100, DirectX 10 will be
supported (though not required) with a new engine, and did I mention
they still won't have any monthly fee? When word of Guild Wars 2 first
started coming down the pipe, I always assumed the second edition would
be a normal P2P model, but they've surprised me. If they can raise the
bar as high as they believe, and still make the game free after your
initial purchase, Ralsu's dream of an accepted F2P game in this part of
the world may finally come true.
We've gone over the what if, the code named project, and the soon to be
sequel. I'm tempted to just leave you dangling like this, but I can't
bring myself to do it. For years now, we've heard the constant rumble
from today's gamers, begging a company to create an open world, with
full PvP, where a player’s skill and community reputation
matter more than what level they've achieved. Hang on to your britches,
because that's exactly the kind of world Star Vault is creating with
Can you say
There are no levels in Mortal Online. You will live or die by the skill
of your sword, the precision of your spells, or the speed of your mouth
as you try to talk your way out of trouble. Star Vault's goal is to
create a realistic, breathing world. Real time combat, first person
view, and true PvP from the ground up make the base for this upcoming
It sounds impressive and like a dream come true for many, but the
reality of today's marketplace makes this a difficult task to pull off.
Since the game will not have any "PvE-only" servers, there will be real
consequences to being an ass hat. I don't say this arbitrarily, but
bring it up as an extremely important fact. While I'm not a heavy PvP
player (and never really PvP'ed much at all href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/node/47790" target="_blank">until
Warhammer Online), I
know a lot of us deeply href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/node/61451" target="_blank">miss
of community we had in other
games. From the moment you step into the game, your initial actions may
very well dictate how the rest of your avatar's career will go.
Avoiding the griefing that caused many of us to quit Ultima Online
within a matter of days will be a difficult task, but I'm anxious to
see what (if any) systems they implement to deal with this. It's a tall
order, but I wish them the best of success with it.
I also have a confession to make... I, Eric "Dalmarus" Campbell, am a
graphics whore. There. I said it. Obviously, graphics can't make a game
and gameplay is more important than anything, but I absolutely adore
gorgeous graphics and continually upgrade my system to take advantage
of all the eye candy out there. If Star Vault manages to honestly bring
the intense realism shown in the href="http://www.mortalonline.com/" target="_blank">Mortal
I'll be in geekdom heaven and will probably have to have a cigarette
after the opening credits.
The upcoming sci-fi games of the future may be trying to steal the
spotlight, but don't believe for a minute that fantasy will be left in
the dark. As the year progresses, expect to hear more from all these
titles and a few others I'll bring to your attention in the coming
weeks. Until then, play some Oblivion in anticipation of an Elder
Scrolls MMOG, read the early Salvatore books to get a glimpse into his
creation of Copernicus' new world, and get ready to cry over the
glorious beauty that is Mortal Online... I hope.
To read the latest guides, news, and features you can visit our Guild Wars 2 Game Page.