We’ve had a few people ask us already “what type of game are you making?”
You can get an overview by checking out the Game page and FAQ. But there’s a lot more to it than simply saying that we are creating a group-based, skill-based game that lets players can choose from hundreds of skills to create their own unique class out of our two primary Archtypes. Or go with one of our pre-made traditional classes that have the skills already chosen for you, such as an Archer version of a Fighter or a dual shortsword-wielding Ranger or a Mechanic Thief or a Bard.
That’s only the start. We’ll be working with a system similar to what The Elder Scrolls: Oblivion put forth. Your class selection at the beginning of the game will revolve around picking Major Skills tied to three of eight stats. Those are the skills you’ll be leveling up in order to advance in the game. You have the option to also work on any Minor Skills that you choose to work on, but they’ll level up significantly slower than your Major Skills and won’t affect your overall class abilities.
There will be limitations. For example, if you are a Dexterous character who has chosen the Acrobatics skill as one of your Major Skills and that skill in turn offers you abilities that affect your class mechanics, such as the ability to Dodge, Tumble, Evade and the like, you won’t be able to run around in plate mail, even though you can technically skill up in the Heavy Armor skill and equip the armor, not without sacrificing all of those skills and your ability to even perform them.
Why? Because let’s face it: you can’t realistically tumble, duck, dodge and evade while wearing plate mail. The same goes for Swimming. Jump into a body of water while wearing plate mail and I don’t care if you are an Olympic swimmer; you are going to sink like a rock to the bottom of the deeps.
So during our game design we’ll be working on a realistic set of mechanics to govern the overall skill system. While players will ultimately have the freedom to choose what skills they wish to pursue, either opting to fully customize their own class or pick one of our pre-designed classes, there will be limitations that reflect reality.
There’s also something to be said about the “jack of all trades, master of none”. In our game, the only way you can truly be a useful part of a party is if you pick a specialization. While you can mix and match your skills to a certain degree, the last thing you want to be is a character class who hasn’t taken the time to master anything, eventually reaching end-game and finding out that your overall skills are too low to be of any use to an adventuring party.
Your class skills matter, as does your mastery over them. Spread them too thin, and you’ll be screwed in the long run.
But beyond mechanics, a lot of people have asked “what do you mean it’s a group-based game?”
That’s an easy question to answer. While you’ll be able to run around inside of cities and interact with NPCS and other players, craft items and maybe even wander around the outskirts of a city or outpost just outside the walls all on your own, any type of level-appropriate adventuring will require going somewhere with other players, from groups of 3-4 just outside the safety of the cities and outposts, to full groups of 8 in the dungeons of the world (and raids beyond).
Ours is a world of danger and adventure. You don’t play tabletop games with only the dungeon mastery; you assemble a party of adventurers who are your friends and allies, and you play with them over sessions that span 2-4 hours, and then repeat over periods of weeks, months, and years. We are hearkening back to those days, similar to the early days of EverQuest.
If you make the decision to leave the safety of town and its guards, it’s not a decision you should be making lightly. You need to prepare. You need a balanced group of adventurers to handle whatever you might come across in the wild. You need gear. You need supplies. Bandages. Potions. Scrolls. A pack mule. Rope. You can never leave home without a good length of rope.
It’s an excursion, not an afternoon stroll down to the river to pick daffodils for your sweetheart or mum.
Think the Mines of Moria; we want every dungeon and adventure our players encounter to be on par with what The Fellowship encountered while being forced by skip the pass and head into the mines.
Any time players leave the safety of a city or outpost we want them embarking on an adventure that will take at least multiple game sessions to complete. The storylines and content we are creating for the game are epic in scope; you won’t find 15 minute dungeon runs in The Saga of Lucimia.
Instead, you’ll find sprawling storylines that will take you across multiple parts of the world, into the depths of various dungeons, each step requiring days, weeks and months to complete, and you won’t be able to access the total depths of those dungeons without a fully balanced group of characters that includes thieves and scholars who can bypass traps, uncover hidden doorways and tap into the relics and runes and objects of lore left behind from the time before The Great War, and characters with brute strength to force your way past rusted gates and lodged doors.
It’s a sandbox game, but there will be some theme park elements. What you won’t see are quest hubs. While there will be quests you can find in cities and outposts, you’ll also find them out in the wild, such as in the wandering hermit who roams across several different zones and doesn’t have a set path and can be found in different places at night or day and offers different quests depending on what zone he’s in and what time of day or night you come across him. Such as directions to the hidden cave whose entrance only appears on the light of the March moon at mid-month at two in the morning, and only then if you have a scholar with you who can read the corresponding map which in turn is locked away behind runes and ancient texts that need to be deciphered.
The closest thing you’ll find to a quest hub would be following the main storyline for the game (which is optional; you can progress your character without ever once following the main storyline. If you want to go out and explore the world and level up your skills by adventuring and dungeon crawling while hunting down loot, that’s your choice and it’s a valid option), during which time you’ll come across certain dungeons (which you could come across in your adventuring in any case). These dungeons will have their own underlying questlines that can be completed, but once again they are completely optional; you can level up without ever completing a single quest in the game if you choose to do so.
The biggest thing we want is players working together to overcome the challenges of the game and to uncover the full depths and scope of the lore and storyline. Every dungeon is designed to be multi-tiered, and the various tiers and levels will be locked behind skill-based requirements. Doors that require scholarly skills to perceive and then translate the required texts to speak the keyphrase to open the door.
Or perhaps a door that is stuck due to old age and the only way to get past it is to have a character with a high enough Strength in the group and also the corresponding Bash skill that will enable him to literally punch his way through the blockage and open up a pathway for the rest of the party to climb through.
Or hidden panels that require a master thief to not only know the door is there, but to also disarm and then unlock. And in order to disarm the trap you’ll have to have the requisite skills to determine whether it’s a simple trap or a complex trap….and maybe your current level of skill isn’t high enough to progress beyond that point.
Everyone will have a role to play, and every adventure you encounter in the wild will have multiple components. The only way to experience everything is to always ensure that you are working together with a well-balanced team of players who have well-rounded classes that can overcome the variety of challenges that exist in the world beyond the safety and security of your tavern and the city marketplace.
And we haven’t even started talking about combat and corpse runs and your pack mule getting killed off by rabid wolves yet or one of your party members getting kidnapped in the middle of the night and whisked away by kobolds to the depths of a dungeon that you’ll have to spend the rest of your gaming session working your way through to reach his cage, or the fact that we won’t have a minimap in the game so you’ll be navigating the world in real-time just like you would if you were an actual adventurer….