MAYN Interactive to Publish Tactical Intervention
Demon Lord Rises in OnRPG Office
By Nic van ‘t Schip, OnRPG, Portal Manager for OnRPG.com
Mystery packages are always welcome and this morning we had a huuuuge box waiting for us at the reception.
The sender, Frogster in Germany, gave us a hint what it could be and imagine our glee when we saw that our hopes got confirmed:
Yes, the nice folks at Frogster saw fit to send OnRPG a new employee: The Demon Lord!
Not ones to fear away from a challenge we got started on the assembly straight away:
As you can see the OnRPG office has previously been pimped by Frogster, thanks for the mousemat guys!
In the beginning it was quite easy but when the large wings were being assembled it became a true team effort:
And after a short while our work more than paid off, here he is in all his 18 inches (45cm)! And if you thought the height is impressive, the wing span is quite a sight as well!
Seeing this Runes of Magic villain dominating our desks makes us think back to this screenshot we posted of him a little while ago in this interview by Joshua.
You can admire him in action in this trailer as well.
So, thanks Frogster for sending us the latest addition to the ever growing OnRPG team!
Dragon Oath Gigantic Dragon Mount Contest
Pangya Europe has entered its fourth season. Play on a wide variety of crazy courses!
Update 2.1.6 for Runes of Magic will introduce some exciting new content. The Demon Lord awaits you!
Allods Online Review: It’s not WoW
By Vincent Haoson (Vincenthaoson), OnRPG Journalist
There have been a lot of MMOs lately that have taken the WoW interface and used it in their own MMORPG. Developers who have taken this route have had hits and misses which ended in the labelling of their MMORPGs as mere “WoW Clones”. Allods Online is a good example of such an MMO. You can see a lot of WoW elements incorporated to its interface and gameplay. However, what separates Allods Online from other half-baked MMORPGs is that it has managed to refine itself into an MMO that can get the attention of even a jaded gaming market.
I cannot deny the similarities that Allods has with World of Warcraft. However, I was very surprised that the game did not follow with a cinematic opening. Once you create your character (belonging to either the League or the Imperial side) you are immediately put into the middle of the action. The game practically puts you right in the middle of the story, which is similar to Dungeons & Dragons Online. You actually get to see how the story develops. On the League side you actually witness a change in the environment when you are invaded by the enemy. In the Imperial side you are given a taste of what you will be experiencing and what it means to be part of a ship. I was really taken aback with what I saw in the game because you can only experience these things when you’re playing a P2P MMORPG.
Interface at the inside of a Ship
Characters and Jobs
Character selection on the other hand reminded me of Neosteam. The Gibberlings were the Allod version of Neosteams furry Poms. Elves meanwhile, have wings. Yes, that’s right, all elves in Allod have wings (nice going Allods team, another game that exemplifies the “feminine” nature of elves, male or female. Personally though I’m a League summoner so I’m really complaining). The game pushes the archetypical classifications of a lot of the races found in MMORPGs. However I personally don’t think you will notice much because the character designs are so good.
The job system in Allods is similar to a lot of MMORPGs out there. There are no faction exclusive jobs in Allods. The job class’ names may be different but the classes have a corresponding “alternate” job in the opposite faction.
Allods mages are not overpowered. Magic spells can actually miss in Allods. Though the spells still retain the magic attribute, it is not guaranteed that they will always hit. According to one player who I was able to talk to, he mage is a crit type. Anyone and everyone who has played a lot of MMOs would think that is weird. However, based on what I experienced with my summoner, I think that’s a good way of allocating points.
Another unique system in Allods Online is that there is a stat allocation system. Unlike other MMORPGs of this calibre, you can allocate stat points. The levelling system in Allods is similar to a lot of stat based MMORPGs out there. It means that you get stat points whenever your character levels. There is still a job and class locked growth system in Allods but with the stat system in place, you can actually customize and create your own build. I personally think that the Allods game system is a refreshing take on character development. People who are used to mages always hitting and nuking inform the sidelines are forced to rethink their strategy in Allods.
Allods is a grinding, story-driven MMORPG. Your main way of levelling in Allods is through the quests, which NPCs will provide for you. Grinding alone will take a while because the quests provide more experience points. I think this levelling system really forces you to do the quests. A lot of players who are used to grinding will find it unacceptable that you are relying on quests to level up. Though I think this works well for Allods because it emphasizes that the game is story driven. However, relying heavily on quests in Allods may in fact be bad in the long run. Repetitive questing can take a toll on players and can eventually make them quit the game.
On board a flying ship
If you started the game with the Imperial faction, you’ve already experienced what a ship looks like. You eventually get to control your own Astral ship. Like in building real ships, owning one takes time and a lot of money. However the benefits of having a ship really outweighs the cons. You get to travel around and see the beautiful world of Allods. You can also experience ship-to-ship battles similar to what you experienced when you started with the Imperials. The Astral Ship experience doesn’t stop with just the creation. Astral Ships need to be manned too. Similar to real ships you need to have a navigator, helmsman, engineer, repairmen and of course gunners. I haven’t seen how this works in the real player perspective but as far as I can see this can work out especially if you have friends who can man those posts in your ship.
There are a lot of faction centric features in Allods Online. Most of them concentrate on faction vs. faction warfare. However there is one game system in Allods that doesn’t consider a groups faction in segregating players. It’s the official alternative for questing, PvE and PvP. It’s Goblinball. The objective of the game is to kick the goblin that serves as the ball into the enemy’s goal. Similar to soccer your task is to defend your goal while scoring. Goblinball is an enjoyable sport/mini-game to play. It successfully gives players another thing to look forward to aside from the daily grind.
Personally, when I saw the game trailer and heard of the pertinent game features I wanted to jump the gun and play Allods. Now it seems that I was justified on hoping that I would get myself into a great game. I don’t think Allods Online will ever topple WoW. However, Allods for sure will provide good competitive encouragement for MMO developers because there’s a F2P of this calibre. I cannot say that Allods is a perfect MMO at the moment, because it’s just in OBT. The game has a lot of potential and I’d be keeping my eye out for game updates in the future.
Grecca Interview: A Step Into the Ancient World
Questions by Bryan King (Bryan), OnRPG Journalist
Answered by Gren
Grecca is an online roleplaying game based on a fictional variant of our own ancient world. The game has yet to be released, but shows potential as an MMO with heavy emphasis on PvP, building factions, and fighting for your own survival from the time you log on. Today, I had the chance to speak with Gren, the Lead Designer for Grecca.
OnRPG: Hello Gren, please give readers a brief introduction about yourself.
We’re a small team of game enthusiasts who have been working on this project for several years. The lead members of the team consist of myself, Merlin (our Lead Programmer) and Arus (our Lead Artist). Basically we set out to make the kind of game that we wanted to play, because it didn’t seem like anyone else was planning on doing it.
OnRPG: Alright, first things first. When and where does this game take place? Is there a storyline involved?
The game takes place in a world very much like our own, the way it would have been between two and three thousand years ago. All the cultures and regions in the game correspond to some sort of historical equivalent. The reason for this is that we want to be able to deliver the style and theme of that time and place without players feeling like they’re in for a history lesson.
As for a story; no, actually. This may sound strange, but what we’ve found over years of playing MMORPG’s is that the drama and conflict that happens between the players is far more involving and relevant than whatever artificial plot the developers tack on to give the world context. Don’t get me wrong, the world will be full of conflict, intrigue and drama – but it will be on the players terms. What we’re providing is a setting and game mechanics. As for the experience itself, that’s up to you guys.
OnRPG: The setting in this game this game must give your development team an advantage in development, are there any parts of the game world that players will see here that they won’t be able to see anywhere else?
Well, antiquity is one of the more interesting times in our own world’s history, and it’s sadly under represented by games today. When it is represented, it’s usually done in a gimmicky sort of way that exploits a few bullet points of the culture such as the pantheon or what have you, and never really gives you anything in which to immerse yourself.
Because it takes place in the ancient world, we’re talking about the moment in history when nomad tribes are starting to come together and form villages, towns and cities. It’s a very raw struggle of man vs. the chaos and uncertainty of the world around him. We’re reflecting that through the game mechanics. Every piece of civilization you find in the world will be there because another player (or group of players) put it there.
OnRPG: What features differentiate Grecca from other MMOs?
First of all, Grecca is all about the competitive experience. I know a lot of games out there tout this same thing, but it’s not the same. Every aspect of the game is geared toward competition. Even if your character spends their whole life picking berries or mining ore and never even equips a weapon, he/she is still part of an overall war effort against the world around you. Every little bit of progress you make helps your village, your guild, your clan, or what have you. Grecca also features a real time combat system. I realize we’re not the first to tout that either, but you can count on getting a PvP experience where your instincts and your reflexes will count for more than how much grinding you’ve done or how you’ve built your character.
Every man-made object in Grecca is made by a player. If it’s not, it doesn’t exist. You will never find a town that players did not build. You will never find a sword that wasn’t forged by a player from ore someone had to mine. You will never wear clothes that didn’t used to be some other critter’s skin. Also, the resources these items come from do not grow on trees (well, I guess fruit grows on trees actually), so you can imagine how that will inform the competitive aspect of the game when two villages who’ve never met each other before suddenly find out they’re both relying on the same region for mining and there’s not enough ore for everyone.
OnRPG: Can you tell us about the “faction” system? How will this be used to benefit players?
The faction system is possibly one of the most complex elements of the game. When you say “faction” you could be talking about anything from what culture your character belongs to down to what family you’re from, and everything in between. Each type of faction behaves very differently and has radically different goals. Unfortunately the details are beyond the scope of something I could explain in an interview, but there is a slightly more adequate description on the site.
However, I can say that the most important type of faction for new players will probably be their village/town/city. These are other players who you (hopefully) mutually rely on for survival. Players from the same town aren’t just expected to cooperate because they happen to have spawned in the same place; factors like common enemies and safety in numbers make team work a necessity. Not that you can’t be a lone wolf if you really want to, but one should expect a rough ride.
OnRPG: Also, please give us details about the cultures within the game?
We have four cultures planned. They are Grecca (the first culture to be added and also the games namesake,) which corresponds to ancient Greece. The next culture to be added will be the Crescent Empire, which corresponds to the ancient Persian Empire. Then we’ll add Valle, which are a mix of celtic/gallic/germanic/norse inspired barbarians from a cold and harsh mountainous region. The last culture to be added will be Pandora, which will be the equivalent of ancient Rome. Each of these cultures will be stylistically distinct. What we’re aiming to deliver is the theme of each culture. You will instantly be able to tell the difference between a Greccan settlement or a village of Valle raiders.
Ancient setting, forging weapons
In addition to the aesthetic variety, there are very significant differences in how each culture works in terms of influence and control. Remember, we’re not governing the factions in this game. That’s the player’s job. What we’re providing are the tools and functionality for governing, ways to gain and lose influence, ways to use influence once you have it. These will vary drastically depending on what culture you belong to. For example, the Greccan culture is an early democracy, so struggles for influence over cities and so on will have a lot to do with debates, laws (which can change depending on who’s in charge), and the peoples votes. By contrast, Valle is a brutal warrior society who gain or lose influence based on ritualistic dueling or all out blood feuds; it doesn’t matter how well you argue in Valle, the strongest and most brutal will end up in charge.
OnRPG: How do players work to survive in the world of Grecca, whether it be battling or using resources, how do players work to keep from death?
Well, the important thing is that survival is your responsibility. At the bare minimum that means you need food, shelter and clothing. But it’s not that simple; where are you gonna get these things? How are you going to defend yourself while you’re out hunting/foraging/mining etc. for them? And what if (see: when) some other town gets desperate and decides to raid your village for resources they can’t get on their own. Even if you’re a pacifist berry picker, you might find yourself being chased around your own house by hostile players.
With that said, it’s not a free for all. Before you can raid a village, you have to defeat any players willing to defend it. Once that’s done, any remaining villagers can still attempt to resist you in the village itself. There’s a system in place to balance it all out. It’s not like the first time you get successfully raided you’ll lose the whole town, but it’s definitely not a nominal outcome by any means.
Some people may hear these things like raiding someones village and taking things out of their house and think the game experience will just be one series of abuses after another. Fear not. For all the ruthlessness, the purpose of this game is for you to have fun; by “you”, I mean everyone from the hardcore PvP’er to the pacifist who just wants to make sandals for everyone. All of these systems are designed carefully and reasonably. The world will be harsh, but it will also be fair.
OnRPG: What visual elements are utilized to bring to life the setting, while pleasing players?
As a team we have a great fondness for the 2d classics that made us love video games in the first place. These days, someone sees a 2d game and their first instinct is to assume it’s a cell phone or a browser game, and I think that’s unfortunate. There’s a lot you can accomplish in terms of precision in 2d games.
We have a fantastic artist on the team creating hand drawn, completely modular 2d sprites. She puts a lot of care into everything she draws and is constantly revising and improving existing assets. Artistically speaking, the game is in the best hands anyone could hope for. That’s my opinion, anyway.
In terms of atmosphere, the game will feature day/night cycles, weather and seasons. Also, areas of the world map considered “wilderness” (anywhere without someone living on it) will generate randomly every so often, so that players aren’t visiting the same exact places for the same reasons day after day.
OnRPG: Will players be able to create their own true persona? How is customization a part of the game?
If we want players to immerse they have to have a character that means something to them, and aesthetics are a big part of that. From the very beginning you will be able to customize the following: skin color, eye color, hair color, hair style, facial hair style. Once you’re in the game itself, your character can accumulate tattoos, scars and piercings as well. This is all in addition to your clothing and equipment, which obviously changes your appearance.
OnRPG: Will character progression be a major role? How will players feel like they’re getting somewhere in the game?
Character progression plays a significant role in the game, but it’s not the player’s only goal. We want players to have a solid “end game”, and by that I mean we want you to have plenty to work toward even if your character is completely maxed out.
It’s important to understand that in Grecca, it is possible (if very unlikely) for a brand new character to defeat a grizzled veteran of many battles. This is because combat relies heavily on your own skills and instincts as a player rather than your characters stats. That’s not to say that your stats and equipment don’t matter, because they do. It’s just that their effect is more subtle than is the case in most games.
OnRPG: Is there an economic sector to the game? Will players be able to craft and sell items; is there any differentiation between the common economy in MMOs and Grecca?
Crafting and trading is a huge factor. Every item in the game is created by players, and no one player will have enough skills to make everything they could ever possibly need by themselves. Unlike many MMO’s, we don’t plan to place any sort of restrictions on players abilities to trade between themselves. In terms of economy, money is entirely optional. It has to be created like any other item, and it’s only worth what someone is willing to trade for it. In this way, the value of money will vary greatly depending upon the social context in which it exists. It’s worth noting that money is specific to the city that it’s created for, and may or may not have value to other cities and cultures. Also, only the ruling faction of a city can create money.
OnRPG: What types of weapons, armor, and items will be prominent within the game?
Well, in terms of variety there’s swords, axes, maces, spears, bows and thrown weapons in addition to shields and various other miscellaneous combat tools. In regards to authenticity, the weapons and equipment of each culture will stylistically reflect the theme of that culture. This seems like a good spot to mention another huge difference between Grecca and a lot of contemporary MMORPGs. Equipment (meaning weapons, armour, clothes, supplies, etc.) is transient in Grecca. What I mean by that is just because you acquire a sword doesn’t mean that sword is yours forever. It just means you’re currently the one in possession of it. If you fall in battle, your enemy will probably loot that sword, along with any other valuables they have time (and space) to make off with.
That might seem overly harsh, but you can always make new equipment or find someone to help you make it. You can also store extra equipment in your dwelling for just such an occasion. Make no mistake. Everyone will get KO’d, everyone will get looted. It’s an experience that will be common to all players at some point or another. Also, equipment is not everything. The difference between a good sword and a crappy sword is fairly subtle. Don’t get me wrong. There’s definitely a difference, but it’s no substitute for skill.
OnRPG: Since this game works on realistic terms, will new players be sheltered in some fashion until they can stand on their own two feet, or will they be left to fend for themselves like everyone else?
There will be some sort of system for protecting brand new players for a very short period of time. The more important factor is that it is in someone’s best interest to take that new player and mentor them, because they may not have all the fancy skills and gear that you do, but next week they might be watching your back, or defending your town from a raid while you’re logged off. There’s no way to over emphasize how critical teamwork is to success and survival.
OnRPG: What future updates or expansions does your development team plan to add to the game?
Well, our first priority is to get the game playable as soon as possible. Once that’s done, we’re gonna work on adding the other three cultures as well as fleshing out some other important aspects of the game.
OnRPG: Are there any events that you guys plan to let the community join in on?
The community will be welcome to join in on any events that we host. Unfortunately, I don’t have any details on this for the time being. Sorry for the somewhat lackluster answer.
OnRPG: When can we plan to see an open beta or a full release? Do you guys have any testing stages open for players to join right now?
We’re actually planning on conducting an open alpha test sometime in the next few weeks. As for the beta and actual release, we hope to be in beta by mid-summer and have the product ready by the end of summer. Grecca will be free to play.
Also, for the last few months we’ve been hosting occasional demos on the weekends just so people can get in game and get a feel for the combat system and so on. There will probably be a few more of these before alpha. Any registered member of the forums is welcome to join us for those demos. We’ll usually post details a few days in advance under the Alpha Testers section of the forum (must be logged in to access that section).
OnRPG: In conclusion, why should readers visit www.grecca.net right now?
We periodically post news of progress that the project makes as well as upcoming dates and times for tests or demos. Also, anyone is free to socialize or ask questions to the Dev Team on the forum.
OnRPG: Do you have any other comments to add?
Thanks to everyone with an interest in this project. We hope to see you soon.
OnRPG: Thank you very much for your time!
Thank you. 🙂
burn baby burn!
Conquerer Online: Legends Return Expansion Chapter 1 Preview
According to the schedule, these thrilling features will be released in 3 chapters throughout 2010, beginning from this April.
In Chapter 1: the Shadow of Darkness, players will be able to experience the prelude of the chaos age. The notable content of chapter 1 will include the Sub-Class System, new dungeons, a new gear system, and new quests.
As the prophecy tells, the legendary art of Sub-Classes had been accidentally uncovered by thieves. According to the records, 6 types of Sub-Classes have been deciphered by the scholars: the Apothecary, the Martial Artist, the Chi Master, the Warlock, the Sage and the Performer. Each of these skills can provide its practicers with the unique bonus state. When adventurers reach level 70, they can go to the Job Center to study these powerful, ancient arts.
When one learns these Sub-Classes from the Job Center, the path of their gritty training has only just begun! Each of the Sub-Classes has 9 phases, the higher phase one achieves, the greater effect one can receive from their sub-class skills. To master the higher phases of Sub-Classes, players must first reach the required levels for their characters, and then accumulate Study Points by perusing several types of Sub-Class Scrolls obtained from monsters or quests.
As the prophecy of the Sub-Classes is fulfilled, a formidable demon has broken the seal set by ancient heroes and returned to the mortal world. Seizing the opportunity that 2 guardian dragons of Twin City were falling into their millennial slumber, the demon possessed the twin dragons and remade the 2 divine creatures into its powerful puppets.
After a ferocious battle with the leaders of the 6 classes in Twin City, the demon was severely wounded and escaped into the depths of the Frozen Grotto. In its new nest, the demon proclaimed itself as the Demon Overlord, and summoned its vicious minions to construct a legion of darkness. In Chapter 1 of the expansion, Floors 3 to 6 of the Frozen Grotto will be open for adventures to explore and battle against the hordes. In these new dungeons, players can annihilate the servants of the Demon Overlord, practice their newfound skills, and work to reach the source of this mayhem.
To help combat the legions of darkness, the new Artifact gear system has been developed by the artisans of Twin City. Utilizing the fragments of a Dragon Soul, players can purify their current gear, converting them into Artifacts with incredible elemental powers! The quality of a Dragon Soul has 10 levels, each determining the effect of Purification. Players can collect these precious fragments from bosses scattered in the world of Conquer, or just defeat the demonic dragon for a high-ranked fragment! Also, the state of Purification is temporary, and the effect will disappear when the enchantment wears off. As a by-product of the Artifact Gear research, the artisans also invented some fascinating Equipment Accessories which players can use to decorate their gear!