MMORPG.com: What is the setting of Astro Lords: Oort Cloud?
Nicolas Weber-Krebs: We based Astro Lords on the scientific theory of the Oort Cloud, which was conceived in the 1930s and has been further elaborated since then. Imagine a huge, thick sphere with a diameter of almost one light year and a sun at its center… Cut that sphere with a flat perpendicular disc right in the middle… The sphere is the Oort Cloud and the disc is the Kuiper belt.
Millions of Asteroids are gyrating around the sun on these two geometrical figures. That's where players will each have an asteroid as their main base. It is the setting of Astro Lords: the very outer edge of our solar system.
MMORPG.com: You have combined three genres in the game. How does Astro Lords make them all tie together?
Nicolas Weber-Krebs: You build and grow your asteroid base; your generals board heavily-armed spaceships to shoot at and destroy enemy spaceships; you steer your asteroid and carefully explore, spy on, and raid other asteroids. These are three very different game genres: construction management, arcade shooting and strategic warfare. Not only do complement each other, they also naturally help balance the whole game. The growing of your asteroid basis is a continuous, never-ending process; the exploring, spying and raiding missions take up to a few hours; but the shooting battles can be as fast as one minute. As a player, you can choose what game genre you play and when you play it. But you do have to play all three game genres to be successful. Your asteroid provides you with science and ammunition, your shooting skills allow you to win some of the resources needed for growth, and your missions stymie the growth of your enemies, allowing you to run away from them.
MMORPG.com: Part of the game focuses on crafting and managing resources. What are some of the experiences players can look forward to in this area?
Nicolas Weber-Krebs: Astro Lords has two basic resources (crystals and energy), 21 sciences, 12 specialization sciences, 13 skills, 15 buildings, 3 currencies, and 3 android types - they are needed in certain combinations and at different levels to craft different types of ammunition. Along with these elements, you have several different officers and runes – the result is a fairly complex management and crafting module.
MMORPG.com: Can you tell us about your combat system? How do players advance as they battle?
Nicolas Weber-Krebs: The combat system is an original game mechanic introduced by Astro Lords - it’s Space Invaders meets Worms. You shoot lasers and bombs and use other ammunition to destroy your enemies, be it other players, aliens (bots) or bosses. Some of these enemies can only be beaten by a team of players and with a carefully selected array of arms. To help you win, you have a plethora of defenses and ammunition at your disposal (including a black hole cannon!). You can train and beat bosses in the arena. You can battle enemies during raids. But the best way to become a top shooter is to engage in battle as often as possible.
MMORPG.com: How can you get at another player’s asteroid base? How does the spy feature work?
Nicolas Weber-Krebs: First you have to send out explorers to an area of the map where your radar has detected something suspicious. If the explorers complete their mission successfully, they will provide you with information about the area. Should they find an inhabited asteroid, you have the choice between ignoring it, asking it to become your ally, raiding it, or sending out spies to it. Your spies not only provide you with additional information about the asteroid, but you can also direct them to sabotage different production facilities. To raid the asteroid, you send out your spaceships to fight its spaceships and defenses. If successful, you bring back the loot. You can also conquer inhabited asteroids or other players’ secondary asteroids in this manner.
MMORPG.com: What is so original about your mission feature?
Nicolas Weber-Krebs: To understand the complexity of the mission system of Astro Lords, you have to carefully consider this fact: your asteroid base is actually moving on the map! Hold your breath and read the previous phrase once more. You own an asteroid, not some medieval village. It can be steered to any point on the map. Obviously, you can still send out troops (your spaceships) from your asteroid to attack other asteroids. But you can also move your asteroid closer to or farther away from any other asteroid. This is an exponential improvement over other MMORTS. You don’t need to wait for hours for your troops to come back! You don’t have to be beaten continuously by a stronger neighbor! You can be close to your friends, even if they started the game months before you! You can devise entirely new warfare strategies! This is a paradigm shift in the MMORTS world.
MMORPG.com: What is the time frame of the game? What will we see as we move into 2014?
Nicolas Weber-Krebs: Astro Lords took three years to produce by a team of 20 developers and graphic designers. The present build will take three to six months to get through for diligent players. We are planning to release add-ons every few months and have already planned for new ammunition, guilds, and tournaments. We believe the game will be running for at least ten years.
Learn more at https://astrolords.bisbog.com/en/
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