Requiem: Bloodymare - GDC First Look Interview
At this year's Game Developer's Conference, Community Manager Laura Genender caught up with the folks developing Requiem: Bloodymare to talk about their upcoming MMORPG.
Your average MMORPG shows a definite appreciation of certain adult concepts: revealing female armor, enemies such as skeletons and zombies… hell, entire games are based around combat and killing. Today at GDC, though, I saw Gravity Interactive’s upcoming MMO Requiem: Bloodymare, a game that takes adult and mature concepts to the next level.
Gravity’s Joon Yoon (Marketing/Public Relations Coordinator) and Bohle’s Derek Asato (Vice President) gave me a tour of the game – and as the name suggests, its very bloody and very gory. Every swing of our character’s sword produced a spray of blood; deaths were heralded by flying limps and, on rare occasions, I was treated to the sight of creatures cut clear in half.
As we waded through hoards of NPCs, Yoon explained the story behind Bloodymare. Long ago there were many races, all at war; with all the magic and technology they used in battle, they caused a cataclysm that let loose many monsters. To combat these monsters, the races researched types of genetic alteration to create super soldiers to fight against the beasts. The game starts after the cataclysm, and the players play the super soldiers.
The DNA theme is not purely backstory, either; in addition to your usual equipment (armor, weapons, etc), players also have 5 “DNA slots.” DNA slots allow you to equip, unequip, swap, etc. various DNA strands you buy in town. Different DNA gives you different bonuses and effects; one might boost your damage output, or accuracy, or defensive stats, etc. In addition, sometimes the right combination of 5 DNA will produce a 6th special effect – players will have to find these magic combinations themselves!
While the game’s class tree is somewhat small (everyone starts as a novice, level 10 you pick between fighter type or caster type, and later on you branch out into 4 total classes), the use of DNA and careful skill choices gives players the ability to customize to their choice role.
As we killed monsters and watched the creative deaths, my guides pointed out a red meter bar filling up at the bottom of the screen. This bar, they told me, is related to another individual feature of Bloodymare: beast possession. Once the bar fills up, players can transform into one of three equipped beast forms.
Beast forms, like players, follow the basic archetype patterns (fighter, mage, healer, etc)…but a healer type character does not necessarily need to have healer type beast forms. Let’s say you’re with your group, and the tank kicks the bucket; you might use a fighter type beast form until the group is safe.
Beast forms are temporary; their duration is dependant on their level, with a lifespan of about 1 minute at level 40. As you play on your beast form, you earn EXP – this EXP can also be shared with other beast forms. Beast forms also have their own equipment and skills. A player could have two of the same fighter type beast form with entirely different purposes, dependant on how they manage equipment. Of course, one can’t forget how awesome the beast forms look, especially when killing. Creatures killed by beast forms don’t just fall to the ground…they burst into chunks and sprays of blood. Nasty!
This led into another interesting feature: nightmares. An in-game day (24 hours) passes every 2 hours; for 15 minutes of that 2 hour period, the world gets darker, fog rolls in, and powerful monsters spawn. During nightmare hours it’s not safe to travel alone outside of known safe areas; a lone player might have a chance against nightmare creatures with their beast forms, but otherwise it requires a solid group. Quests and hefty experience/item rewards will tempt players into fighting the nightmare creatures.
I asked briefly about PVP; PVP options include a /duel command and special PVP areas. These areas can support battles up to 96 vs. 96! The graphics of Bloodymare look a little bit dated – very much like Lineage II 4 years ago, though shadows are blockier and somewhat awkward. Since the game is just now entering Closed Beta, though, there might be some graphical updates before we see release.