Originally slated for release in 2011, Alganon’s ‘Rise of the Ourobani’ expansion has been a long time coming. A number of circumstances affecting the development team delayed the expansion significantly. These issues ranged from datacenter relocations, to developer departures, and technical barriers getting in the way of expanding the game. Finally, Alganon fans can look forward to the expansion’s release on January 28th, and the team at 3000AD invited us to take a peek at the expansion and learn more about what players can expect to find when they get their hands on it later this month.
3000AD is doing something fairly novel with the introduction of a new race called the Ourobani. The Ourobani are not aligned with either of Alganon’s existing races, the Asharr and Kujix, but instead will take the side of whichever side is losing in their on-going conflict. The Ourobani start on the continent of Aeon, a landmass exclusive to the expansion, and will have myriad new zones to explore in their neutral home territory, but the interesting wrinkle comes into play with the Alliance mechanic.
Alganon essentially features a Realm vs. Realm campaign between its two existing factions, the aforementioned Asharr and Kujix, and the introduction of the Ourabani serves as a way of balancing out the conflict by offering the losing side additional reinforcements. Fans of RvR will often describe a third faction’s importance for this very reason (see: Dark Age of Camelot vs. WAR). Typically, the desire for the two weaker factions to join together against the stronger one would be organic, but not necessarily enforced or even guaranteed, but Alganon is doing things differently by flipping allegiances dynamically with the flow of the campaign.
This has interesting implications not only for the game’s PvP campaign but also for PvE. The Ourobani can group up with players of their allied faction and do PvE content in allied zones in addition to the new content available on their home continent. However, if allegiances flip while adventuring, the Ourobani will have 10 minutes to exit the area before their former allies turn against them. It’s a good thing that more PvE minded players will have a chance to get away, but I can also see this feature being amusing for those who would rather stick around and hunt their former allies once the timer expires.
The best way I could describe the Warden is a cross between a Ranger and a Druid. Alganon actually features a bow wielding Ranger class at the moment, but the Ranger features a multiple role design, while the Warden is entirely focused on doing damage. It’s got three ways to do it, too.
As a human, the Warden has access to bows, traps, tamable companion pets that fight alongside them in battle, and even ‘Pack’ abilities that summon groups of snakes or other creatures to swarm your enemies.
The Aspect of the Tiger allows a Warden to transform into a fearsome tiger with a significant increase in damage commensurate with an equal loss in resilience to damage. The Tiger fights in melee range with abilities that allow it to claw, bite, and pounce on its opponents, to name a few.
Aspect of the Lynx transforms the Warden into a Lynx with boosted run speed. The Lynx can utilize many of the skills available to the Tiger form, but also has exclusive access to ‘Prowl’, which grants the Lynx stealth. Players will have access to a number of abilities that can only be used while Prowling.
Overall, if your goal is to kill all the things and you’re looking for a variety of ways to do it, the Warden will probably serve you well.
3000AD is also introducing flight paths and personal flying mounts with the ‘Rise of the Ourobani’ expansion. Most of the game’s existing teleporters will be disabled when the expansion launches, and players will instead either need to pay a fee to a flight master and fly to their desired location, or hop onto their flying mounts and take to the skies manually. Flying mounts are pretty easy to control: simply hold spacebar while running on the ground with your mount to take to the skies and then tap spacebar with either the W or S key held down to pitch up and down respectively.
Oh, and flying mounts come with the addition of fall damage, so you may want to cancel your plans to skydive into your favorite location. It will probably hurt. A lot.
Hired mercenaries are another new feature of ‘Rise of the Ourobani’, but will not come with your expansion purchase. Available in Alganon’s Tribute Market (cash shop), Mercenaries will allow players to call out a Guardsman, Arcane Scholar, or Pikeman to aid them in combat. These pets have an uptime of five minutes along with a 10 minute cooldown, so you won’t be able to have them out all the time, but they should definitely be useful in times of need. As you might expect, the Guardsman tanks, the Arcane Scholar kills things with fire, and the Pikeman enjoys stabbing things in melee combat.
Buy It Your Way
3000AD is giving players multiple purchase options for ‘Rise of the Ourobani’ by making the main features of the expansion available a la carte through the game’s Tribute Market. Just want the Ourobani and don’t care about the new Warden class? Go for it. Just want the Warden? That’s cool, too. Same for flying mounts. However, if you want it all, you’ll probably want to pick up the whole thing bundled together, as you’re likely to save a few bucks. Additionally, 3000AD will be offering an early adopter bundle that will feature an exclusive flying mount called the ‘Red-winged Aggart’. Pricing for the expansion bundle(s) or its individual components are unavailable at this time, but we’ll be sure to let you know once that information becomes available!
Michael Bitton / Michael began his career at the WarCry Network in 2005 as the site manager for several different WarCry fansite portals. In 2008, Michael worked for the startup magazine Massive Gamer as a columnist and online news editor. In June of 2009, Michael joined MMORPG.com as the site's Community Manager. Follow him on Twitter @eMikeB