Updated Fri, May 11, 2007 by Ethec
by Jeff "Ethec" Woleslagle
May 9th, 2007 - Perpetual Entertainment, the driving force behind one major player in the increasingly narrowed field of top-tier 2007 launch MMOs, is well into the internal beta of Gods & Heroes: Rome Rising. The focus continues to be on polish; which is good news for the game (goodness knows that everyone wants that holy grail of a polished MMO at launch), but bad news for news hounds looking for that new "big thing" to fixate upon.
We were able to cover most of the headline items on-site from Perpetual's San Francisco studios while in town for GDC 2007 (link). And, to editorialize a moment, the game itself already boasts at least a few features that deserve constant mention - few people I've talked to understand how innovative the minion system really is, these aren't just pets, folks, these are soldiers to command separately with distinct commands that go way beyond attack, passive, follow. But, that's another topic for another piece (and, in fact, the topic of an upcoming series of video interviews with the Perpetual team, so stay tuned!).
But, polish being what it is, there wasn't much in the way of earth-shattering announcements on Gods & Heroes at Gamer Day. We were able to see instancing for the very first time in the Volcanic Vents, a level ~15 area, with no hiccups to report. In fact, the ability to consult with your groupmates about not only your class abilities, but the right mix of minion abilities to get the job done, looked very interesting. We also saw the Numidian Delta, a level 20-25 swampy area that put Gods & Heroes already impressive graphics engine to work, complete with some entirely epic-sized mobs.
As no photography or video was allowed in the demo room proper, we hope to offer you some new screenshots of these engaging new areas soon. For now, please watch for some detailed video interviews with Perpetual's Chris McKibbin, Stieg Hedlund, and Chris Launius that address why how revolutionary the minion system truly is, the newly instituted Nomad class, and the status of the game and test community at this point prior to launch.
Our thanks to the entire Perpetual team for taking time to talk with us at the recent SOE Gamer Day. We look forward to covering the game in more depth as Gods & Heroes marches toward launch.