Heroes of Telara E3 2009 Demo

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If you have not heard the name "Trion World Network" yet and you're an MMO player, you should listen carefully. This company is currently developing three MMO games that are expected to makes some strong changes to the way we think of MMOs. The first is an MMORTS with Petroglyph Studios in Las Vegas, the second is a game in conjunction with the SciFi Channel that will have a show to go along with it, and the third game, a fantasy MMO known as Heroes of Telara, was displayed at E3 2009. Below we’ll take a look at Heroes of Telara and what players can expect from this fantasy title with some great twists to player classes. Keep an eye on Trion World Network; there will be a lot from them in the near future.

Heroes of Telara is a high fantasy world with all the trimmings. Players can start as a human, elf, or dwarf character and choose one of the iconic fantasy classes as a base: Rogue, Cleric, Warrior, and Caster. If it sounds very cookie cutter, just wait, the player choices really come to life in the sub classes of the game. There are a boatload of sub classes players can choose from. If you are a Warrior main class and want to spec in the Paladin sub class you’ll get righteous abilities that will help you more in combat with a little bit of healing thrown in. Players who start out as a Cleric main class and spec into the Paladin will have a boost to healing as well as the combat. There are plenty of options for players to choose from.

We got a look at the Warrior main class who then chose to run as a Berserker sub class through a quest. The Berserker spec gives the character a boost to melee and damage but offers little benefits in terms of defense. As the Berserker got further on the quest, she ran into a Lich with some nasty undead minions blocking the road. After a tough fight the Lich went down and gave our Warrior some very unique loot for an MMO…a new sub class! The Warrior could now spec into a Necromancer-style sub class and summon undead to fight for her. So if she came upon a fight where her Berserker skill may not work best, she could switch to Necromancer and send in the undead to battle her foes for her, eventually jumping in to finish them off with her melee abilities. So as Heroes of Telara starts out with some basic main classes, there are plenty of options for players to spec in lots of sub classes depending on the situation.

Next we took the fighter into a Heroic Quest scenario. You have heard of Warhammer’s Public Quest idea, right? Well this is the same thing. Players enter a town that is burning to the ground with fire imps and a giant demon running around. The Warrior used her new sub class of Necromancy to summon some undead and hurled them at the giant demon in the center of town. Once the demon was weakened, our female was able to charge in and finish the job.  The questing systems allow other lower level players who cannot fight the demon directly to kill imps or fight other baddies in the town to help in the quest. Overall the game play of the Heroic Quest scenario looked good and seemed to work well, the game play definitely moved faster than current MMOs, a trend we saw with all the games at E3.

Another note about the character classes that was cleared up in the Q&A session is that players will be able to spec all four main class lines in one character. You will be able to level up each class independently for the character so you do not have to create alts if you don’t want too. While sub-classes can be switched during game play, you will have to travel into town to respec as your new core class.

During our conversation with the developers, Russ Brown from Trion explained their game technology, saying that Trion’s MMOs will carry the majority of their assets on the server side, which gives them better access to make game updates and changes on the fly. It also allows them to expand their in-game events and live events for players. Taking a lot of the pressure off the client side, so players will be more asset light on their home PCs. This gives the company the chance to really drive the game and quickly deliver the changes they need for players to enjoy.

Trion seems to be heading in the right direction. We were surprised at how well Heroes of Telara looked and definitely wanted to see more. Since Trion is hard at work on several MMOs, we are definitely looking forward to see what the studio has in store. Their first showing of Heroes of Telara was enough to raise everyone’s eyebrows in the room, and you should take notice of some great new competition in the MMO market. 
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