Gods & Heroes: E3 Update
MMORPG.com Writer Carolyn Koh attended this year's, modified, E3. In today's report, she takes a look at the upcoming MMORPG from Perpetual Entertainment, Gods & Heroes: Rome Rising.
"Show me something new," I demanded of Chris McKibbin - President of Perpetual Entertainment and Community Manager Binky Launius. With SoE's Gamers Day only two months past, Hero Camp not two weeks past and launch in a matter of months, what had fans and readers not seen or heard?
They pondered. "We're at the 'polishing, polishing, polishing' stage," mused Chris, leaving his minions idle while he thought. "We're a hundred percent content complete and adding aggressively to closed beta." His minions dispatched a bandit that had wandered too close and aggroed on the group. "Have you seen the new sky box?" He asked, "We've got new sky and clouds. They are dynamically lit." He tilted the camera up to the sky, showing me the clouds. "Have you seen anything like it?" He demanded. I admired it politely. It was indeed pretty.
We walked around cold, icy Gaul, attacking and being attacked by random creatures while Chris showed off the tight UI. Character bars on the left of the screen with game options in a vertical bar and bags on the horizontal. Squad bar on the right with minion bar in the vertical and squad commands on the horizontal. Four hotbars are also available, and anything with an icon can be hotkeyed. Squad formations, skills, spells, etc.
"Rome is much grander than the first time we showed it," said Chris as we walked into the capital city. "All cities are organized by class. But Rome has bigger and better everything: the Pantheon where all the Gods and Goddesses are worshipped, Bath houses and playable sub-areas." Better quests and vendors, I am told, also where you form your guild for 2gp and 5 members. We visited several structures and I duly admired the architecture and graphics. We then Picked up a few quests, asked a guard for directions and navigated through the city via the overhead map. "Most of the starting quests will run you around the city to familiarize you with it. The usual sort of thing, then as you progress, you can pick up other more interesting quests, some of a political nature.
We visited the Bath House. There were quest NPCs and bathers aplenty, but none of them were lounging around by the side of the bathing pool. The men wore short togas as did the women. Some were in two piece outfits. Nothing skimpy. No bath house boys holding towels or masseuse girls. Binky cast a baleful eye on me. "We're not that game. We don't even have blood and gore." With Chris was playing a Nomad - a dagger fighter with "stupid fast" attack and showed me the areas accessible only by the class, much like the sneaky rogue class in other games, it has its own "underground."
We also talked about squads and minions (of course), the amount of control a player had over them. Players have macro controls - squad formations and the general aggressive, defensive & no-action stances as well as micro-controls - where each minion may be controlled separately. This includes: feats they could use, the point when the healer should cast heal spells and directing them individually during battle to fight, assist or run away. Minions have to be rezzed when they die, and do not die when you do. Instead, they will continue fighting, either until they die or you recall them at your respawn point. "How do you stop your minion from rezzing you in battle?" I asked.
"Your minions can rezz you??" I chuckled at Binky. "Yes, they can." We immediately explored his Vulta's feat panel. There were Restoration and Rapid Restoration feats. "There you go!" exclaimed Binky. "Remove the quick rezz feat."
We walked into an unfriendly camp because Chris was too busy talking to me. Right into the center of camp, aggroing multiples. "Ut-oh... this isn't good. I thought this was a friendly camp! I didn't mouse over them to see the red outlines (signifying aggressive mobs)." He first tried to fight his way out, and then tried to run. We found out that, yeah... if you remove the rezz feats, your minion won't rezz you. We found shrines - some with two statues - one, a Squad Manager, another, a Death Restorer where you could pay a tithe to retrieve your corpse, some even had a third statue - a Camp Master so you could set your camp and bind point.
"Have you seen the player camp? It's changed," Binky told me. By all means, show me. We entered camp. Camp? It was a fort! A walled enclosure made of sharpened logs, with watch towers in the corners, a walkway around - unfortunately inaccessible although ladders led up to it - "It's for atmosphere," said Binky. I expected to see armed guards on the walls! It came complete with: a Quartermaster (banker), General Provisions & Repairs vendor, Squad Master, Camp Master (which sets the color customization and bind spot of your camp), Minion Smith (from whom you buy sets of armor for your minions), the Janitor who watches your gate, an NPC "trainer" who would give you quests and information... and a dog. Simply named, "Dog." Aww, can I rename him Brutus?
Binky ran me around, showing me the various tents and a small training arena. "What's that for?" I asked, puzzled. "Oh, your minions will occasionally fight in there," was the casual reply. There are 130 minions available at launch and 12 are Myth Minions - one for each God(dess). If not assigned to your squad, they will hang out in your camp. "Players can quest only for minions that support they way they play or for all of them as they wish," said Chris. I wondered if they would pet the dog. "Your minions have unique history and personality," Binky told me. "You can talk to them and discover their backgrounds. If you interface with them often and treat them well, they will even give you quests."
My reaction to that was one word, "Dude!" Treat them well? Like... not getting them killed all the time? Upgrade their armor when you can? Take them out in your squad often? Personality? Minions can be surly? Minions have morale? But that was all Binky would say. "What's the fun in telling you everything? You'll have to play the game and find out for yourself."
*Groan* what a hook. What a devilish hook to leave one who has a fondness for pet classes. Will "Care and feeding of your minions for success in God and Heroes." Be the guide to follow? Only time will tell.