Jason Heans tours Auran's Brisbane studio and gets some hands-on time with Fury
Since MMOs exploded onto the gaming scene a few years back it seems that everyone and their ranger’s pet has had a crack at the market. The problem facing these new games however, lies in the fact that no one has really done anything to set their MMO above the others. Aside from different classes, spells and death animations the onslaught of new MMOs look as if they’ve been cut from the same mould. That is, until Auran Studios releases its new MMO title next year, Fury.
Fury is unique in that it combines the thrill of a First Person Shooter with the strategy of building a character and sense of attachment and community that only an MMORPG can deliver. PvP in MMOs don’t deliver the same thrill a player gets when they sit down for a good old fashioned blood orgy only provided by the Unreal or Quake series. However, Carpenter insist that even after a year as lead designer of Fury that he still gets a thrill every time he sits down to play.
The game is fast paced and highly team oriented. How fast paced? Think of Fury as the Mortal Kombat of the MMO world. It’s leaps and bounds ahead of anything else in the industry when it boils down to the speed and intensity of play. As a result of this, Fury incorporates something exceptional into the MMO genre, actual player skill.
While the game encompasses enough standard MMO features to stay true the genres, the game relies strongly on a sense of player skill. This means that Johnny Warrior armed to the teeth with more weapons than the former Soviet Union will have to do more in PvP than select his victim and approach him from behind for a one hit kill. Like what we’ve all seen playing first person shooters, a player who utilizes his environment to seek cover or lure his enemies into vulnerable position will be on the cutting edge of Fury PvP.
Your Fury Character
Here again breaking from traditional MMORPG style, Fury uses a limited point system that has resulted in seemingly unending possibilities in character building. The system, called the Avatar system, allows for players to gain skill points through trials. But don’t expect to be delivering mail for some raggedy old wizard geezer. In its everlasting commitment to fun and excitement, Carpenter has promised that players will want to complete Fury’s trials. Actual advancement in the game will be achieved in a PvP setting.
As for actual character creation, Fury employs a system of 8 different traditional role-playing archetypes that players can choose from.
“These archetypes are not locked in”, insists Carpenter. “Instead, they’re there to give players ideas.”
Characters will be able to gain ranks in these archetypes. As a character’s rank increases they will be granted more equip points. These points are used to equip either abilities or gear, adding another dimension of character building strategy. You can either more a gear-heavy character, one richly endowed with abilities, or a comfortable mix of the two.
Your character’s specialization doesn’t end with specs. Fury allows for players to have a great deal of control over their look. Players are able to dye their equipment from a selection of 64 base and gloss colours, leading to an almost unending combination of looks.
Carpenter acknowledges that character customization is a big part of the MMO experience. “Our aim was to make [your character] more unique, more distinct.”
And unlike many MMOs, Fury players will be able to change their characters appearance at any point throughout play through the use of appearance vendors. These vendors also offer new appearance schemes that players can earn which are not available at character creation.
PvP in Fury
PvP is the heart of soul of Fury. Its fast paced, energetic combat style will keep even the most seasoned PvPer on the edge of their seat.
As an example of PvP in Fury, let’s consider Vortex play. Playing a Vortex match carries a strong team aspect. It’s here that a player’s skill in the game, rather than simple character stats, are tested.
Players are grouped into small parties and brought to a Vortex map. After a countdown to begin, players must seek out crystals and return them to their team’s base much in the same way as capture the flag scenarios work in other games. However, the crystals are not static, they are held by NPC creatures that move throughout the level.
Fury’s team oriented play comes into effect here. Once a player has gotten their hands on a crystal their movement speed is reduced as a result of the crystal draining their energy. Therefore, a successful team will be one that best coordinates the defence of crystal-holding character from the attacks of the opposing team.
Having gotten the opportunity to sit down and play a few Vortex matches with the Fury team I can confirm that Auran Studios have achieved their goal of producing and exciting while still highly strategic form of PvP game play.