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Outside The Box: Atriarch By: Garrett Fuller

Editor's Note: This is a new weekly column from our News Editor Garrett Fuller. Each week, Fuller will highlight new innovations in MMO gaming as well as smaller games that you may not be so familiar with.

Atriarch is an MMO being designed by a smaller independent studio known as World Fusion. You may not have heard much about it, well that is because these guys are a smaller shop working to get this game out there and on the map. Things had been quiet at World Fusion for a few months and then a press release came out on New Years talking about game and world upgrades. Fans of Atriarch were happy to hear that plans were still in the works for the game’s eventual release.

One of the things here at Outside the Box that is so important is bringing you news on MMOs that you might not normally read. Atriarch is an MMO that may not be up there sharing headlines with WoW or Age of Conan, but what these guys are doing is cool, plain and simple. Many people (myself included) are tired of your typical MMO races that all fantasy games feel they should have. Elf, Dwarf, Human, Orc, and maybe a risky race like Undead or Trolls populate most fantasy worlds. Why is it that we have become so stuck on these races for game play? Dan Fortier and I had a debate about it a few months back and it really opened my eyes to a lot of what was going on in the world of game races. So that is why I want to bring Atriarch to your attention.

Atriarch is building an alien world with…absolutely no human races at all! While I do believe this may be a risk, I think it is great to see playable creatures that appeal to us beyond our normal human capacities. As a role-playing gamer, there are only so many times you can play the burly dwarf who loves his ale and axes. Don’t get me wrong, I love that character, but Atriarch is offering something completely different to players.

Imagine playing the Cavolon, a race that is based on plants. This slithering creature has a very original look in Atriarch. The race offers something new to a player looking for a change. These creatures seem crafty and suspicious from there write up and will appeal to the gamer who enjoys that role, but wants a completely different look.

The Eshlar are another race that seems to be the main architects of Atriarch. This group looks like a combination between rock-men and lizards. They have the ability to shape their hands into various tools for crafting. The race may fit a common crafter MMO role, but the look and feel are so unique it gives the player a whole new experience.

The Lokai almost resemble insect type creatures that are written up as the explorers of the world. With a very different alien shape to them these creatures may appeal to a player who is interested in exploring and building abilities based on that idea. Their spiny insect like look make them something that would be very different to control and build skills with.

The Tyrusin are the warriors of the game. They have a reptile like look to them and are written to have great strength. A very different take on the typical tank class is that Tyrusin often begin combat from a weaker point to prove their abilities. While most players always look for the advantage, here is a race that looks to win out over the disadvantage. It makes me think of those fights in WoW where we are outnumbered and still pull off a win. Those are certainly the best victories. I wonder if playing the Tyrusin will bring that experience to the player more often.

The Unarra are the beast lords in the game. Perhaps this race will appeal to players who like the pet class. There is not much of a write up on the Atriarch website about them, but the artwork is interesting. The picture shown looks female with a strange mask like face. The creature she is riding has a very alien look.

So there you have a brief look at what a game like Atriarch has to offer. For more details simply check out the game’s website. I hope that we hear more from this game in the future. It seems that the development cycle is a long one, but that is the way of smaller studios. I am just happy to find a game that is trying something different from the norms we have come to see in so many MMOs. I always believed that as a player grows they want more from a game world. Atriarch seems to be offering a new experience for players even if some of the regular themes are in the background. I’d certainly try playing a plant creature or an insect at this point after years of playing humans, elves, and dwarves.