From now on “Carbine Studios” is a name you are going to hear a lot. Don’t be surprised if you haven’t heard the name before, in fact they have been working in secret and shared only little pieces of their unnamed project.
Next week at gamescom Carbine Studio is going to reveal details about their upcoming MMORPG. They were involved with many amazing games in the past, e.g. World of Warcraft, Asheron’s Call, Everquest, Warhammer Online, City of Heroes, Diablo II, StarCraft and single player games like Fallout, Stonekeep and Baldur’s Gate.
Asheron’s Call has been my first and favourite MMORPG. It was such a great game, you could for example choose the skills you wanted instead of being restricted to class skills. A Plate wearing Combat Mage, Melee Character with Life Magic. To learn higher ranked spell, you needed to manually research personal component combinations. Every mob could have some nice loot, so it was exciting to open each kill. Ofc the great PvP aspect of the game. Darktide ftw!
Enough drooling about Asheron’s Call!!! But having its developers, the ones from World of Warcraft and Fallout working on a new title sounds just too appealing and it is raising my expectations sky high. Not sure how the game will turn out, but at least I’ll try to make sure you’ll get a first impression and at least heard of it. Carbine Studio have kept pretty much everything a secret and only recently began to share some general information.
Unannounced MMO Details
- Dev Team: background with a lot of successful mmo and rpg hits
- Budget: $50 to $70 million
- Not a WoW Clone
“Now the core of what made World of Warcraft work is still important – polish, balance, tuning, and being very critical and iterative in your development. But in terms of systems and content, games that don’t break significant new ground are going to have a very tough time of it, and we don’t plan on making that mistake.” – Jeremy Gaffney
- System Performance
“So even though everyone wants high end graphics we’re going to make it so you can turn your settings all the way down. But our game looks really cool and everyone who has seen it agrees with me. Technology or not, it’s really awesome!” – Mitch Ferguson
- Balanced and polished with clean launch
“We’re waiting on the timing of it, really. One of the things that Blizzard, Bioware and Valve have always done brilliantly – and one of the things we’re set up to do at Carbine – is showing the game when it’s ready. So the timing for releasing information and the friends and family and that sort of thing; we want to do all that when we can talk openly about the title and show you hours of gameplay that stands up to the promises that I’m making.” – Eric Demilt
- Game World: SciFi Fantasy
“It’s set in a futuristic world with space ships and space. When I say fantasy, it means we kept all the traditional archetypes of the fantasy games but not the races of the fantasy games. So you won’t see any dwarves but we have short people and tall people, and we have magic and swords, but it’s all in a sci-fi world so there will also be electronics and robots and space ships. We’re trying to really blend it.
We’re still trying to find the exact mix because I think we all agree that if you go too deep down the sci-fi path it becomes less attractive to many people. But we want to go far enough so it enables some new stuff to happen” – Mitch Ferguson
- Appearance: Unique recognizable look, made for adults
“We know that our game was for adults so we studied shows like Naruto and Full Metal Alchemist to see how they balanced a unique visual style with stories that had both humor and drama. Lastly we looked at comics such as Hellboy, Battle Chasers, and Tank Girl to influence our balance of technology and fantasy.” – Matt Mocarski
- Gameworld: Offering guidance and at the same time “off the rails exploration”
“The best games have elements of both – a sandbox with zero guidance has replayability but loses and confuses a big chunk of the audience, while a pure theme park game might be fun once, but rarely is going to have the depth needed to have players enjoy years of gameplay. We have a few new ways of delivering quests that allows the world to be more sandboxy and letting you explore “off the rails” while still providing guidance and direction within the sandbox” – Jeremy Gaffney
- Quests as means to progress story not as timesink
“I’m a believer in advancement in a number of different ways. There are more systems than just killing stuff in the game, and there’s more systems than just following your quest log through a game.” – Jeremy Gaffney
“We’re really trying to push the idea that you go out into the world and content comes to you in creative ways. I’m a big fan of not having to follow that same sort of real structured framework of “get quests here, backing them all up, go to the next place, getting those quests there, backing those all up.” I think there’s definitely room for innovation to be done, and we’ve been innovative on that front.” – Chad Moore
- End Game: Easy switching between playstyles.
“At launch this game will have more hours of gameplay in the box than all of the games I’ve worked on combined. Take that huge scope and add the variations of gameplay; solo, grouped, tradeskillers, casual players, hardcore raiders, guilds, PvP, etc. all in a massively multiplayer environment, the challenges are incredible.” – Eric DeMilt
“We try to smooth that by having a softer “jump” at cap between the different playstyles, and encouraging both shifting between playstyles and supporting those who really want to focus on just one playstyle: be it PvP, PvE, soloing, grouping, raiding, or tradeskilling.” – Jemery Gaffney
- Most features you could expect from modern MMOs with improvements.
“I think the things that have been missed are the more social systems. MMOs have really missed out on good guild tools, deeper trade skills, things that people could do outside of fighting. We hired one game designer whose full time job is to design the social game – everything that will make people talk to each other.
Every MMO that’s in development right now sees what’s happening with Facebook and other social networking systems and the connections are obvious. So we’re trying to take that into account really early in the process and I am not able to say exactly what that means. But what we’re trying to do is to make it really easy to find people to play with, stay in touch with people that you like, and to allow you to interface with the game from anywhere outside of the game.” – Mitch Ferguson
- Trade Skills
“Do you enjoy tradeskills? We will have fewer limitations and more variation than most other MMOs, and our crafting will result in items you really want to use, instead of stuff you just sell to vendors when you are done” – Tim Cain
” F’rinstance, the gent who was behind that neat Diplomacy minigame in Vanguard is working on our tradeskill minigames, and one of the guys behind Warhammer’s cool public quest system is heading up our content team and working on our own unique content systems.” – Jeremy Gaffney
By the way, the german magazine “Buffed” delays its publish to August 17th, so they can bring an exclusive 6 page coverage. I doubt they would do that just for the average game.
Enough Text, here is some Artwork! The picture with planet and/or moons has been published as still from the teaser video we are going to see next week. Are you guys as excited as me?