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Launch-Day Preview

J Williams Posted:
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Fury: Launch-Day Preview - Page One of Two

Today's Fury Preview was written by not one, but two of our writers. Managing Editor Jon Wood had been playing the Fury Beta, but could not attend the content-complete demo, so Staff Writer Adele Caelia filled his shoes at that event, the result of which is this preview where you get both Jon's impressions and Adele's.

Today marks the launch of Fury, a PvP-based MMORPG from Auran Games, a developer based in Australia. As we always try to do here at MMORPG.com, we are printing a preview of the game as it launches (a full review will be forthcoming).

Originally, Managing Editor Jon Wood had the task of previewing this game, and he did indeed play the beta version of the game. The hiccup came when it was time for the press to take a look at the spiffy new, content-complete version. In a weird twist of fate, technical issues forced Jon out of the game. Not wanting to miss an opportunity though, Adele Caelia was assigned the task of jumping in and taking part in a dev-run event to show off the new game. As a result, we bring you the impressions of two writers instead of one.

Jon’s Report 

Fury. One person described this game to me as, “an MMO with all of the boring stuff stripped out of it”. While personally I don’t think that’s a completely accurate statement (I happen to like the PvE stuff that my friend described as “boring stuff”), I would have to say that Fury takes the conventions of a standard MMO and turns them on their ear.

PvP. In most MMOs, PvP is a side-attraction. It’s often included in MMOs these days as something else to do in between leveling and making your way through the PvE elements of the game. You know, quests, exploration, that kind of thing. Fury flips this convention over, making their game all about PvP with little to no room for PvE elements.

After character creation, you take your first steps into the Sanctuary. It is here that you and your character prepare for the many battles that are to come. It is here that you learn how the game works in the form of a tutorial. My advice is to pay close attention. While a lot of the conventions are similar, this is a bit more complicated than your average run-of-the-mill MMO.

This is both a positive and a negative point for Fury, and I suspect that it was done to ensure that the matches would be decided on skill and tactics and not ham-handed button mashing. This could count against Fury as the casual MMO player may find it too much to handle, too soon. Fortunately for them, their core market seems to be a hardcore MMO audience, or at least an audience that is familiar with MMO terminology and is frustrated with the class-based “grind” games:

“Unlike most other games,” reads the Introduction on the game’s homepage, “Fury doesn’t shackle you with class restrictions. It won’t make you grind levels for months before you can begin PvP, and it won’t make you fight a single mob.”

It’s a lot to promise, and it holds out hope to the many vocal members of online communities who have been screaming for something different. So, does the game live up to its own promise?

I should probably start answering that question by saying that if you take into account all of the MMO players in all the world, I may be the single worst one at PvP. Still, I’m a fair hand at Battlefield 2142, so I thought it might all even out. It didn’t. I’ll save you the suspense and tell you right now that I didn’t win a single match. Now that we have that embarrassment out of the way, I can continue with the preview in shame.

In the Sanctuary, you will find NPCs who allow you to enter into one of three different battle modes:

Vortex – a capture-the-flag game that I didn’t get a chance to try in the beta, but that Adele covers in her part of this preview.

Elimination: 4 on 4 combat – Ok, one of the teams that I played on may have won. I can’t remember, I just remember a lot of dying. I had my doubts about whether or not this game could possibly foster any kind of community amongst people who weren’t in a guild (called a clan) or who weren’t already friends. It was this match type that showed me how. When I entered the queue for the match, the systems behind Fury were pairing me up with teammates of an appropriate skill level and finding similar opponents. As we were waiting for the door to drop, signifying the beginning of the match, group buffs were cast and someone said good luck. We ended up getting our butts handed to us (and again in the second match), but the first comment of “That didn’t go well” set us to talking a little bit to the point where I felt a camaraderie with my team. Way to prove me wrong, Auran.

Bloodbath: The battle royale of the Fury world, this one’s every man for himself (or herself. Let’s be fair, ladies like to kick butt too). It was here that my adrenaline really got pumping. While you’re waiting for the match to start, you’re sitting in a force field (this allows you to prep for battle, but keeps you in one place). You can see your opponents as big, red triangles on your mini-map. I’ll be honest. It really helps to build the tension. After the slaughter, I was shamed, but not without having had my share of fun.

As you’d expect, after the battle comes the phat lewt. Still, Fury wouldn’t be Fury if it didn’t handle this differently than other MMOs. You don’t loot the corpses of your enemies. Instead, at the end of the match, your team earns a certain amount of treasure which is rolled on. You decide which you want most, second most, etc. So does everyone else. In the end, once you head back to the Sanctuary, you can visit a mail box to gain your prize.

That pretty much sums up my experience with Fury as the aforementioned technical problems and issues that led up to it curtailed my playing. It’s probably for the best though, in MMORPG-style PvP, I am not a champion. Before I leave you though, I thought that I would talk a little bit about some of the other things that grabbed or didn’t grab my attention:

Business Model – Fury is going to be a pay to buy but free to play MMO which subsidizes itself through the use of in-game advertising. Don’t worry though, it’s the good kind of in-game advertising that doesn’t intrude on gameplay too much, as the ads appear during loading screens and the like. I do have a bit of a beef with this though, as nothing takes me out of the immersion and makes me aware that I’m playing a game more than a Logitech logo.

Running – Ok, this was very cool. Instead of the regular character animations for running that you see in most MMOs, when you turn your Fury avatar, they actually lean into the turn. This gives the impression that the characters are moving fast, and helps with the fast-paced feeling of the game.

Pacing – Fury promised me a fast-paced game and they delivered. The game does a good job of moving at just the right pace to really get the player’s blood pumping. I think though, it might just be a touch fast for some players. Because this is a PvP only game, the only place that you can test and learn your new abilities is really in combat. As a result, you aren’t as familiar with what you can do when combat hits, and I often found myself mashing buttons in a panic, losing, as I tried to discover the limits of my powers. This is something that I usually do in PvE areas of MMOs, but that is lacking in Fury. That being said though, hardcore PvPers won’t have a problem and will more likely enjoy the challenge.

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J Williams