*Editor's Note: This column was originally written on April 1st, 2010 and was written as an April Fools joke. please take it with the humor that was originall intended.
Well folks the day has finally arrived. As of today, I have decided to leave MMORPG.com to officially take the wheel of the ship that is my very own MMO development office, Procrastination Studios.
Procrastination has actually been up and running for close to a year now, having actually quietly started pre-production on a game that I've wanted to make for years now. It's called Lands of Oberon, and before anyone starts in on me about genre, yes it IS another fantasy game. Let's face it. Fantasy is what people know, it's what sells.
Some of you may be sitting there reading this wondering how I managed to raise the capital to start my own MMO studio. Well, I have a confession to make. After working for five years as a top MMORPG site, I will say this: It certainly pays to have "positive" opinions where generous MMO studios are involved.
As the owner of the company, I am free to discuss the details of some of the features that we've already got going:
The game will allow players to go, at any time to any part of the world to do whatever it is that they want. Monster and quest difficulty, however, is static but defeating powerful monsters yields much better rewards.
The game will also include a number of social features including: crafting, fishing, player housing, interactive emotes, farming, callisthenics, cooking, music, full voice interaction and more.
Time and skill based advancement
Rather than have players simply grind through quests in search of XP, advancement will be obtained through time spent in the game. What you do with that time is your business, although no advancement will be gained while players are idle.
Skills also play an important role in advancement, as the game makes use of a true skill system. Doing an action (for example successfully swinging a sword at an enemy), improves your character's ability to do it. As players advance in time, they gain access to more skills including more complex spells, melee combo attacks and the like.
Lands of Oberon will make use of three distinct factions in the form of kingdoms.
- The first faction is ruled by humans, xenophobic and distrustful of magic and all other races.
- The second faction is ruled by giants. They are at war with the human kingdom and allow no non-citizens within their borders.
- The final faction sits in between the two warring nations. Ruled by magic users, all are welcome within it borders. However, as a passive people, no weapons of any kind are allowed.
Players begin their careers as a part of one of the three kingdoms. Choices do matter however, and players can choose to turn on their faction either by some action (betrayal) or by breaking the kingdom's laws (expulsion).
So long as players are adventuring within their own kingdom's borders (low risk, low reward), death penalty will be negated. However, should players choose to venture past their Kingdom's borders and enter another faction's lands (excluding KvK areas), they are subject to loss of their previous 48 hours of gameplay: skills, loot and time advancement are all lost.
Adventuring in a non-faction kingdom
Players wishing to leave their own kingdom and adventure within another's borders are free to do so. All quests and other content will be available to them. However, they are subject at all times to the death penalty and can be "discovered" and expelled (incurring the death penalty as well).
Players suspecting another of being a member of an opposing kingdom can "make an accusation" to any guard or town official. If that player then comes into contact (line of sight) with any guard or military member, they will be attacked and killed. However, if a player is falsely accused of being from another faction, they have the option to penalize their accuser. Players can accrue up to two penalties before being assessed the death penalty and being expelled from their kingdom (having to earn their way in elsewhere or earn their return through quests).
Kingdom vs Kingdom
While there will be plenty of PvE action in the game, kingdoms will also be fighting it out over large, open playfields.
Well, that's it for now. Expect more details some time between now and next year. If you're interested in coming to work for me on this, or just want to learn more about Procrastination Studios, click here.