Zenith: The Last City is an upcoming MMORPG set entirely in VR. An ambitious project creating an MMO alone, the team at Ramen VR have upped the ante by setting it entirely in VR. The CEO of Ramen VR, Andy Tsen, recently talked about the upcoming MMO in a recent interivew.
The nearly 45-minute long interview with UploadVR hits on multiple points, including combat, the world of Zenith and more. The interview itself is set in VR, as you'd expect from a VR-only outlet like Upload, and it provides some interesting insights as the MMO gears to enter its early bird alpha next month.
Tsen talked about the MMO and their ambitions, such as eventually having multiple shards tied together to create an "infinite world," though right now the team is content with creating just a "regular MMO."
"Zenith is a virtual reality MMO and it has kind of a JRPG East Asian aesthetic[.] [...] We really think that this is the stuff that people have been wanting for a long time and that’s why we set out to build it…MMO is a term that has been really liberally used especially in mobile[.] And when I say MMO, what I’m trying to say is an MMO in the sense of something like WoW or Final Fantasy XIV, where it will be a large world where you can have thousands of people per shard. Our eventual goal, of course, is to make it even bigger and tie the different shards together to have this infinite world, but we’re starting with just a regular MMO and a regular shard which by itself is hard enough."
Tsen says the VR MMORPG will have the standard MMO fare: story quests, crafting, dungeons and more, as well as talked about Zenith's place in the MMO genre itself. Combat, which Tsen says is inspired by Beat Saber, he goes on to describe that Zenith will feel more like an "action RPG than something like Final Fantasy XIV or World of Warcraft," which he calls "spreadsheet simulators."
"In Zenith, you literally have to parry enemy’s attacks, throw fireballs, you can slow time, and so on. Of course, all of this is tied together by a gorgeous environment where we’ve spent thousands of hours creating unique props and content and just building a world that feels fully alive and immersive."
Tsen also talks about the community that encompasses Zenith and how that community is core to the gameplay of the VR MMORPG, specifically mentioning that pick-up groups, or pugs, just won't be an option to really play this game, and players will need to meet each other and "form alliances," specifically citing EverQuest and how much of the content in the early days was meant to never be done solo.
"But ultimately, I think what’s really important is just to have the gameplay reflect the need for collaboration. [...] For us, it’s always about striking that right balance of yes, it’s easy for newbies to get in and party up but also, there’s enough challenging endgame content there where you still need to organize and you can’t just do pugs, you need to basically know people and form friendships and alliances."
It's definitely worth giving the full interview a listen if you're looking foward to the MMORPG (though if you'd rather read it UploadVR has the full transcript posted to the site as well). Zenith: The Last City will be hitting its alpha next month.