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Earthrise, by Masthead Studios, is turning again on the hype attention of the media and fans, after a break, maybe due to the Interplay/Bethesda affair. So we told with the CEO of the softco, Mister Atanasov to know more details about the game.MMORPGITALIA: Don’t you think item insurance will harm the concept of full loot? Looking at this, how will death and insurance work? Will there be still penalties?
On Enterra you won’t find too many secure places, as both factions have their resources and armies stretched to the limits by the ongoing war between them. In such an environment, dangerous opportunists emerge from the shadows where they hide, waiting for the right moment to attack. What players face in Earthrise will be an open world with little or no PvP protection and a level of security that players can earn for themselves or through what their allies provide to them. There is always a potential risk for players to be ambushed and robbed of their possessions.
Insurance does not ensure a calm and uneventful existence for players. It is a way for them to manage the risks they take while experiencing the game. By allowing players to manage risk, we are offering nothing more than the ability to have more Hit Points – perhaps for some, having the ability to resist a bullet hit will spoil some of the PvP experience, but we see it as providing players with a second chance.
MMORPGITALIA: Won’t universal banks ruin the economy?
Any gameplay feature has the potential to turn the game into a great product or ruin it completely. Our team is quite sure that although the global banking system seems controversial with the idea of free PvP, it also allows players another level of risk management, like the insurance system. Global banking could turn out to be a problem if the bank access points are located conveniently close to the important resource nodes or crafting stations. This isn’t the case with Earthrise, as we want players to fight for the good stuff in the game and earn their right to be the power movers.
On a large scale, the risk management in Earthrise is the most vital characteristic of the game. Players that enjoy the combat as well as the economic aspects of gameplay will find out that the risk in the game is both their worst enemy and their best ally – the various risks in the game can hamper player’s actions or give them the upper hand, if managed correctly.
MMORPGITALIA: How big is the world? Are there instances, or is it open? Is it possible to use shortcuts like gates or none of this?
There are no instances in the game. Earthrise is a very large, open island with many different locations to visit. Players will be able to use teleports for quick travel, but it will cost money. Not all teleports will be available to everyone. Continoma or Noir affiliated players will be able to use only teleport networks that either belong to their faction or are neutral.
MMORPGITALIA: What will conquests be like? Sieges?
Siege territories will cover almost half of the Earthrise territory. Gameplay in these territories will resemble a real-time strategy game in which players build and protect their bases. They will also be able to capture opponent’s territories and construct economic buildings for crafting resources or military buildings for defense and combat benefits.
MMORPGITALIA: Will the components for crafting drop from mobs or need gathering? Will rare resources for the equipment be scattered randomly all over the world or will these be typical of a specific area?
In Earthrise our concepts for gathering and crafting fall into one integral process. First, players will have to collect raw materials that aren’t considered crafting resources just yet. Then, the players skilled in refining resources will process them into items ready for operation. The basic raw materials – the “flesh and blood” of the economy – come almost entirely from creature loot, as the idea is that players arrive in a world where almost everything is already possessed by someone and they must take it from their grasp. The sandbox concept of the game ensures that players will find the needed raw materials in many parts of the world, but that also means that they will have to invest some time into exploring and determining the best way to optimize the gathering process.
MMORPGITALIA: Without a skill cap, and even considering the limitation to skills dedicated to weapons, don’t you think the game will favor a heavy grind and hardcore gamers that will be able to switch more skills? Will the weapon/skill sets switching be instantaneous or require some time (like going to a specific NPC)
In Earthrise switching skills and weapons is not compulsory, but beneficial. Since players can learn any skill at any time, if they have enough experience and if they carry the given item (weapon or device), players can switch skills during combat. In combat, we want players to focus on the target and the situation. If they gradually learn how to do this, they will gain the needed skills and understanding to perform as a hardcore player in Earthrise combat.
MMORPGITALIA: How many character slots will be there? Will it be possible to customize our character deeply, as to avoid clones? Will the hit box be the same for all classes, or there will be differences among them?
Character customization will offer the choice of gender, race, face and hair. We didn’t focus too much on that because most of the time players will be covered with armor in order to survive the harsh environment of Enterra. Our focus is more towards crafting, armor and weapon customization, which will differentiate the players. The hit box will be the same for all avatars in the game.
MMORPGITALIA: If a character can learn all skills without limitations, don’t you think this will make him self-sufficient, making trade, crafting and economic meaningless? Will there be player owned vendors?
If a player has all skills, they’ll simply be ultimately versatile – they will be able to equip and use all weapons, devices and armor at full capacity, but without any allies, they will still be a lonely player competing against the entire world. This player will be valuable in complex combat and economical situations but won’t have the physical and temporal capacity to compete on a large scale with entire parties or guilds. For example, a group of players will be able to gather and process many more materials during a given amount of time – or they will use a combat tactic that will simply force the skillful player to choose between two equally penalizing decisions at once.
As for the trade, we offer a global market that can be accessed from several major points of the world. With our economy, tapping into the global market is the best solution for a player who wants to start a big business on his own, as most of the resources are situated in different parts of the world. Global markets also prove to be most beneficial for economic flow and make it easier for traders and their customers to get faster access to every item, component or resource.
On top of that, learning all skills in the game will take years and in the meantime, we will be continually adding more content into the game, which will provide a challenge for someone who is trying to learn everything available.
MMORPGITALIA: How does the alignment system work? When a character turns evil for having killed too many neutral players of the same alignment/race, will he receive some penalties and limitations? How do you go back to “normal”, farming alignment from an evil alt or waiting for some time?
Criminal Karma is lost over time. When players gather up enough Criminal Karma they will turn into a Player-Killer and will have to stray away from civil nodes for quite a long time. Those players are Public Enemies Number One – so frustratingly vicious that no faction will allow them within their ranks. Gaining Criminal Karma or becoming a Player-Killer won’t reset their Level of Contribution. For their faction, the membership remains intact but the faction will wait for that player to walk the path of salvation and consider their past, losing all Criminal Karma in the long run.
MMORPGITALIA: Will arac guilds suffer some restriction? And what about alignment & arac guilds?
Even though we allow mixed guilds, they will have some restrictions and some benefits. The benefits are diplomatic and economic – the mixed guild will have access to Continoma and Noir supplies and territories, and the neutral guild members will be able to roam the island potentially undisturbed by political turmoil. The main penalty for a mixed guild will be related to group PvP and Level of Contribution. Currently there is no on/off option regarding Level of Contribution and if the guild is fighting against a Noir-only guild, for example, the guild members targeting Noir enemies will eventually begin to turn Continoma – and vice versa.
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