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AGC: Hands-On

Laura Genender Posted:
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Fury: Hands-On from AGC

Lead Designer Adam Carpenter gave Laura Genender some hands-on time with Fury

At the Austin Gaming Conference I got to meet with Auran’s Adam Carpenter, lead designer of the PvP-centric game Fury. Instead of taking notes and asking questions, Carpenter sat me down in front of his Alienware Laptop and let me loose with Fury.

My Fury tour started out with a battle; one of the main strengths of Fury was how quickly I was able to get in the action. After making a quick character selection where I chose to be a healer – I’ll get more into character ‘speccing later – my team, made up of Auran developers and QA people, was transported in to a Vortex type match (there are four match types: Vortex, Elimination, Blood Bath, and Fortress. Read more about them here against a similarly composed team.

The goal of our match was to collect 4 Crystals before the other team. Crystals were obtained either from a random spawn in the middle of the field or by stealing one from the other team’s base. When carrying a crystal, one moved at a slower speed and could not attack or defend one’s self, so other teammates had to help the crystal carrier get back to their base.

By chance, our first team composition ended up being extremely healer heavy. We still performed surprisingly well, as most teammates could heal each other if we got hurt and, if not healing, we could fire off minor damage skills.

The way that skills work in Fury is very different from other games, though intuitive and easy to pick up. Though I had a mana bar, I never once looked at it. Instead I was concerned with building up charges. All Fury spells belong to one of four disciplines: Life, Death, Growth and Decay. Using less powerful skills will build up charges that more powerful skills require to use. Note that the disciplines are opposing, and gaining a charge in Life will decrease a charge in Decay.

Playing as a healer, I had an instant cast 80 HP heal that would build up one Life charge. Once I had three Life charges, I could use a 300 HP group heal. The best tactics you can develop in Fury are spell spamming, but be careful to keep track of your charges!

After our first battle, which we won with 4 Crystals to our opponents’ 3, I decided to try a build change. This was where I got to play with the Incarnation system, an incredible system which allows players endless opportunities to experiment. While Carpenter had three or four pre-made builds ready for my use, Fury is all about customization and character building. Your character serves as an Avatar, the essence of a soul that has lived many lives. By unlocking more memories (by using special skills in battle, etc.), you can earn more Equip Points and skills. Each Incarnation – players can have 256 – can use Equip Points to equip new weapons and skills. Equip Points are not common to all Incarnations but can be reused for every one. Players can also decide to operate at a lower Equip Point level, should they desire less complicated gameplay.

After examining the pre-made builds, I decided to try a rogue type, made a couple changes to my skill list and hotkey bar, and jumped in the game. The rogue character was seriously lethal – using a charge type skill I could close in quickly with the enemy and start firing off Decay attacks. Once I built up 10 charges I could use an extremely lethal skill which decreased my target’s HP by 30% of their maximum – this skill was my favorite final blow.

After the PvP, Carpenter showed me some of the non-combat areas of Fury. There is no PvE in the game; all battles are PvP, with a match up system that takes your progress through the game and past battle performances into account to provide the most even match for you and your party. I got to explore the town areas, which were all extremely well done.

Fury’s art and graphics were absolutely stunning. The world actually felt organic and lifelike; while I was walking around I caught glimpses of birds swooping across patches of sky, and close examination of the ground showed spiders scurrying across the grass. While this was never obtrusive or the focus of the game, I constantly noticed these polished details, both in town and in battle.

Overall, Fury looks like it will turn out to be a fun game, though not a full time MMO. There are a lot of similarities between Fury and Guild Wars, though Fury lets players get into the PvP action much faster. When asked what their business plan will likely be, Carpenter said that they were not yet decided, but it was unlikely to be a full monthly subscription like World of Warcraft or EverQuest and equally unlikely to be feeless like Guild Wars.

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Laura Genender