I’m sure a lot of you right now are enjoying the release of WildStar, for those that aren’t I hope you are enjoying your game of choice. Me? I’m still tinkering in the Elder Scrolls Online and playing WildStar (contrary to popular belief you can in fact play both at the same time) but that’s not what this week’s column is about. I’ll spare you from one more WildStar column on the front page this week. Over the past few months I’ve had a couple of columns focusing on crowdfunding and I’d like to check in some of the games that are currently in development or actively seeking funding.
Let’s start with what I like to refer to as the big three. Pathfinder Online, Camelot Unchained, and Shroud of the Avatar. Pathfinder Online announced on June 4th that they have started their internal Alpha testing. Alpha backers from the Kickstarter campaign should expect to start receiving their invites the week of June 16th. To make things even better there is not an NDA preventing testers from talking about their experiences within the game. I’ve had a number of conversations with Ryan Dancey CEO of Goblinworks, the studio behind Pathfinder Online, and every time I talk to him I’m interested in what he has to say. Goblinworks wants to make sure that their are no secrets from the players. They even shared the name of the Alpha server. Say hello to Zod (pictured below). They have also released a video on their proposed crafting system. Since this is a sandbox game crafting will be a huge part of it and something they understand they have to get right. Check out the video for more information.
Next on the list is Camelot Unchained by City State Entertainment. CSE is still hard at development and has recently expanded their team with three new hires. Two of which are MMO veterans. Charles Durham joins CSE as part of the programming team and has worked on WAR, SW:ToR, and WildStar. Also joining the team is Brian Green. More commonly known as Psychochild Brian has worked on Meridian 59 and most recently worked with Storybricks developing the emergent AI players will see in the upcoming game Everquest Next.
The last of the big 3 is Shroud of the Avatar. Shroud just had their release 6 playtest. Release 6 marks the beginning of the once per quarter release cadence and focused mainly on polishing what was already in the game with release 5. We should be able to get even more information on what is in store for SotA next week at E3. Bill Johnson, the original voice of the Guardian in Ultima and the narrator for Ultima online, is doing voiceover work for SotA. We will be able to hear him in the promo trailer at E3 next week.
In addition to these three MMORPGs The Repopulation is also well on it’s way in development after a successful Kickstarter earlier this year. I’ve conducted a handful of interviews with Josh Halls and the game is shaping up nicely. The game is still in an Alpha state and and is currently seeking another round of funding on their own website. They announced yesterday that you can gain access to the Alpha at a lower pledge tier. At $100 it is still pricey and as always when a game is in a development state use your best judgement when throwing money at it but the game does look promising.
There are also two more MMOs that are currently trying to navigate their way through Kickstarter. One of them appears to be DOA and the other while very ambitious in its goals has a hard uphill battle to be successfully funded. I’m talking about Origins of Malu and Shards Online. While once very promising OOM by Burning Dog faltered in a previous Kickstarter attempt and appears to not have been able to regroup and gain the momentum needed to make another attempt. With 6 days left they need about 58,000 CAD out of a 60,000 CAD goal. Shards Online by Citadel Studios has made it to 50,000 USD but has another 280,000 USD to go. With only 7 days left it will probably be hard for them to make it, however, they are having an open playtest for everyone this weekend. You will be able to download the client from Citadel’s website and try the game for yourself and then decide whether or not you want to back the game. In addition the team over at Citadel will be broadcasting the game live on our twitch channel starting tonight. You can watch the action at here.
I’m looking forward to all of these games. Each of them offers the player something different and I think are much needed in the current theme park dominated MMO space. I look forward to talking about each more in depth as further details emerge. Hopefully I can work my way into the Pathfinder Online Alpha because of all the games previously mentioned that is the one I’m personally looking forward to the most. What about you? Would you rather go to space with the Repop? Be virtuous with SotA? Or get your fight on in tri-realm RvR with CU. Let me know in the comments below. Thanks for reading.
Robert Lashley / Robert Lashley is a Staff Writer and Online host for MMORPG.com. Rob's bald and when he isn't blinding people from the glare on his head talking in front of a camera you can find him spending his free time checking out the latest games and technology. Feel free to hunt him down on twitter @Grakulen
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