Citadel: Forged with Fire is ready to hit Early Access later this week. After a successful open beta last Saturday, we reached out to the team to learn more about the game that has many of our readers abuzz with anticipation. We spoke with Blue Isle Studios Creative Director Alex Tintor.
MMORPG: Reading the Steam description, you call Citadel "a massive online sandbox RPG". Can you clarify the difference between this description and the one for an MMORPG? What separates the two?
Alex Tintor: Citadel is not a traditional MMORPG. We’ve taken the things we love about both MMORPGs and open world sandbox games and blended them both into one experience. Having no instanced zones or loading screens was a priority for us: We want everyone to coexist in one seamless, living, breathing world.
We also allow players to host their own servers and create custom rulesets to allow for more flexibility. We know how passionate the RP community can be with these types of games, and we want to give them the tools to personalize their world to tell their own stories and live their ideal experience.
MMORPG: There is a single archetype, an apprentice to the magic arts, in the game. Players can use axes, swords, maces, hammers and gauntlets. It appears that this is how players can individualize their game play experience. Can you expand on that please?
AT: Players can use a wide variety of weapons, including the traditional axes and swords, but also wands, enchanted gauntlets and staves. To make them all feel different we’ve made sure each of these weapon classes have their own strengths and weaknesses as well as their own selection of unique spells. We don’t require you to pick one and specialize in it, but rather provide the player with the flexibility to spend their Knowledge Points as they see fit. Do they want to specialize and use all their points in just one or two weapon types, or do they maybe want to be a generalist, spending a few points in each? The choice is really up to them.
Leveling up also provides a player with Character Points, which can be used to increase their core attributes like health, mana, damage modifiers and carry capacity, essentially allowing you to create the build of your choice. For example, you can pile your points into capacity and mana and focus on building or go all into health and damage to build the perfect melee tank.
MMORPG: Are there any plans to add other archetype "classes" at a later point? If so, how will they fit in?
AT: The current human class is definitely versatile enough to morph into most needs players have. We don’t want to lock players into specific classes, especially being a sandbox style of game. We encourage players to explore different buildouts and weapon, spell and equipment combinations.
MMORPG: How do players progress and advance their skills?
AT: Almost everything you can do in the game awards you XP which is needed to level up. Exploring, building, fighting, crafting and collecting resources all award you XP. We want players to be able to engage the game however they want and feel rewarded. In our minds, building a massive castle should be as rewarding as slaying an epic demon.
MMORPG: Tell us more about the taming system? How many tamable creatures are there?
AT: At launch there will be 17 tamable creatures with brand new creatures being added every month. To tame a creature, players can use something called the Pacify spell. Casting this spell on an NPC for a period of time will eventually immobilize, or pacify that creature. Be warned, once you begin using this spell on a creature it may become aggressive, or get scared and run away. This is why it’s often helpful to have a stun or slow moving spell equipped as well. Once a creature has been pacified you may approach it and tame it. Tamed creatures are only loyal for a short amount of time unless you give them scrolls to increase the amount of time they are loyal. Some scrolls can keep creatures loyal for days or even weeks at a time.
MMORPG: How does the building of a castle progress? Is this a "required" component of the game? Are there advantages to having a castle beyond the cool factor?
AT: We have designed a building system with hundreds of unique pieces to choose from, allowing players to build with a huge degree of freedom. Castle building in our game is not mandatory to progress in the game, although you may have a more difficult time without a base of operations. Advantages to having a castle: you can store things in chests and cabinets, you can build a system of mana management to keep player-built healing and mana pools active. You can build defenses and buff towers to make yourself strong inside your castle, and importantly, you can build crafting benches which are essential to building the best weapons and armors in the game.
MMORPG: There is flight in the game. Is there aerial combat?
AT: Absolutely! Aerial combat is something we are extremely excited about. Players can fight on the backs of dragons, giant eagles, fly on broomsticks or use magic potions. While flying on dragons/eagles, players are able to control their attacks, so you can control a dragon’s ability to breathe fire. When using broomsticks or flight potions, you continue to have your weapon equipped and can cast spells. Aerial combat adds a whole new dimension to the game and is one of the features we are most excited about. Having a broomstick style dogfight is a lot of fun.
MMORPG: The videos all show a first-person perspective. Is there a way to make a third person perspective as well? If not, are there plans to add one? People do love to see their characters!
AT: Most definitely, third person option exists in the game by hitting the Tab key. We will flesh out the 3rd person camera options further as we develop into early access based on feedback.
MMORPG: With the launch into early access in a week or so, what are the next steps?
AT: Playtest, playtest, playtest! We are ensuring the game is stable and ready to go. Once we launch, we will be scouring the web for feedback on balance, progression, and sourcing ideas for future content updates. We already have a ton of stuff planned and already in the pipeline, but we would love to incorporate the community as much as possible into our development process.
MMORPG: What features that currently aren't in the game do you plan to add over time?
AT: The game has all core features in and complete, now it’s about fleshing them out, adding more depth and nuance. We have a lot of ideas to dramatically expand the social systems in the game, like more options for Houses, more social hierarchy’s, player driven quests, and lots more. On top of this, we will be constantly adding more weapons, spells, enemies, locations, and castle types to the game.