There has been a great deal of debate over the last year or so as to whether or not some of the games designed for Facebook should be included among the ranks of MMORPGs. There are merits to both sides of the discussion, but for now MMORPG.com has decided to stick with its long-standing policy about what constitutes an MMORPG for our listing purposes, including graphical interfaces that many or all of these games lack.
With that being said though, there are those who certainly hold out the spirit of the MMORPG, combat, level advancement, grouping, friendly rivalry, not so friendly rivalry, etc. and I wanted to take a second to give you all a look at one of them: Vikings of Thule, created by the good folks at gogogic based in Iceland (who better to create a game about Vikings).
Recently, Vikings of Thule Senior producer Bjarni Sigurdsson had the following to say about a major update coming to the game today:
I lead the development of the Facebook based social MMO Vikings of Thule. In my spare time I moonlight as a coach for the Icelandic national soccer team, but I haven't had much time to do that as we have been working day and night on the new update for Vikings of Thule.
We are adding a large number of elements that we felt were missing from the game. In our opinion, Vikings of Thule has become the most immersive MMO game on Facebook.
Let´s start with the interactive settlements: The game takes place on the mythical island of Thule. As the main screen is a map of the island with four settlements, we wanted to make those settlements fully interactive. Players will now be able to visit different areas to go about a number of tasks. Players can trade with merchants or interact with their friends via the Skald. The quartermaster, blacksmith, weapons master and seamstress help players obtain the weapons, new battle moves, armor or clothing that their Vikings will need to survive in Thule. Vikings will even be able to visit the mysterious seeress to obtain special, powerful items. When it is time to settle the score on who is the ultimate Viking Chief, players can enter the battle arena and duel in the unique live Player Versus Player system. Alternatively, a player can choose to fight against the game's advanced AI system through offline dueling. We also wanted to improve how you find opponents in the PvP duels, so an advanced match making option was added that pairs players with an opponent of a similar skill level. Additionally, a global chat window has been added to allow our Vikings to taunt their potential enemies via online chat. These changes will make the game more social and interactive.
To motivate our players to rank up in the game, we are introducing a new level locking system that will challenge them to accumulate skill points in weapon handling, usage of armor and the prestige required to wear the exquisite clothes of a Viking chief. The player's skill level will determine what items he or she can purchase and use. Players can increase their skill points and unlock items by dueling, completing a quest, trading, purchasing items, and claiming land.
The Vikings were a fashion conscious bunch and they were also the quintessential medieval techno geeks. This means that they liked to wear exquisite dress and use the latest and greatest in armor and weapons. Because of this, we are introducing a whopping 180 new items to the game's marketplace. These will only be available to those Vikings chiefs who have leveled up sufficiently and have earned the right to wear or use those items."
The game can be played on Facebook - http://apps.facebook.com/vikingsofthule/ - but it will be introduced to the hi5 social network soon. This will bring the immersive MMO gaming of Vikings of Thule to its approximately 46 million users. Players from both Facebook and Hi5 will be able to compete against each other online in a single large shard.