2029 Online Preview: Sci-fi RTS on a whole new scale



By Vincent Haoson

The role-playing genre has become the center MMO style of game play that developers have often used in their games, but now there are a few games that have taken a different route. Real-time strategy MMOs have emerged into the MMO scene. One example is the sci-fi MMORTS from IGG, 2029 Online.



The Storyline

2029 online is set on an alien planet named Helen Continent. The humans have left the war-devastated Earth, seeking a new home where they can live and prosper. Upon landing they found out that the planet is under constant war as the other races that have inhabited the planet strive to be supreme. The humans join the fray to try and take part in this power struggle. As the war progressed only a few of the races remained, they are the Humans, the Dryads, the Electronic Elves, the Ice Energy and the Mechanicals. The five races of Helen Continent have gradually settled into a peaceful co-existence.

This is the backdrop of the world of 2029 Online. You get to choose from the five different races that have been part of the war in Helen Continent. IGG has remained tight lipped until now in regards on the skills and the overall description of each race. We’ll just have to wait for it as the development continues on.



Gameplay

The game boasts that it has successfully mixed Real-Time Strategy with Role playing elements into one game. Real-Time Strategy is said to be part of the battle system as you have to think of various elements when you are in a battle. Descriptions of the RTS elements also include that you can build your own base, create your own heroes and even destroying your enemy’s army.

Alongside the RTS-RPG feel of the game, there is an in-game mercenary system that is included. This system gives players a higher chance of surviving a dungeon especially when they are not included in a party. Mercenaries can be included in the dungeon you are in as you start, you can choose from four types of mercs and they are: the swordsman, soldier, gun fighter and the sniper. You can control your mercenaries as you play in the area you are in and they also die if you are not careful.

The details regarding the mercenaries are still sketchy as of this moment, if including them in your party would mean that the experience points you gain is also halved and what not. The only thing that is sure now is the kinds of mercenaries you can use and that they disappear upon death or that when you change scenes or log out.

Besides the RTS-RPG feel of 2029 Online, the game also includes vehicles into the mix. The in-game vehicles that your character can use helps out by boosting your character’s stats and may leave lasting effects as you enter dungeons. The vehicles which are known as Armored Fighting Vehicles, loosely called AFV, have upgradable and customizable parts. These vehicles would serve as either your protection or your extra arm in dealing out pain.



Revealed Facts

Like the mercenary system, there has been no clear information regarding the AFV found in-game. Though 2029 Online promises customizability of your vehicle, there are still a lot of questions left unanswered, but as the game nears beta, you can finally get to see what you can do with it.

Another feature in the game that is uniquely used by 2029 Online is the Guild System. Unlike in other MMOs where guild member numbers do not necessarily affect how strong the guild is, in 2029 Online, the number strength of your guild is dependent on the amount of members that it has.

The guild system is in fact unique in that aspect. The way guilds are done in 2029 Online may in fact eliminate people from creating small and dead guilds that have plagued f2p MMOs. Though it may seem problematic when it comes to guild balance especially when people start flocking to only a few guilds, this system has yet to prove that the theory behind it can be fun.



Initial Impressions

2029 Online does have a lot of innovative features to make it equal to some of the games of the same genre. The game promises and boasts about a lot of functionalities, but these have yet to be seen to be believed in. The skill system is the first thing you need to look into. As the game is considered as a skill-centered game, it is important that we get to see what the skills are. True, there is variety in the races in 2029 Online, but what makes them set apart from the other races in the other games? Would they have the common skills that we often see in games that include these races into their roster?

Another thing is the AFV system. I can’t deny that it is an attractive addition to the overall game experience, but the question I have in the back of my mind is if it is that spectacular as the game information provides? The customization feature is also something that IGG needs to clarify. How customizable is customizable? Admittedly this would be one of the main player earners for 2029 Online but the question is up to what extent can you customize?

Also the pvp and guild system needs to be really cleaned out. If this is in fact an RTS then this aspect of the game should be given a lot of attention to. How would pvp work? It is fun if we go against other players on a battlefield RTS style trying best each other out, but how will it be done?

These are but a few of the things that IGG needs to really shed some light at. However I can’t deny the fact that 2029 Online is an interesting game, with the features and the game system included. There are still rough edges with the game but with proper time in developing, this can be a jewel of a game.

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