Introducing the Largest, Deepest Game Ever Attempted - Citadel of Sorcery
Goodbye Elder Scrolls: Daggerfall. Adios Lord of the Rings Online. The largest game worlds in existence may be about to be dwarfed, and not just in terms of physical scale. Citadel of Sorcery is an MMORPG set in a world the size of planet earth and in which individual quests last longer than the average full game. Forget everything you know about the MMO genre – if even a small part of developer MMO Magic’s intentions become reality, this will be a noteworthy point of reference in the evolution of massively multiplayer games; mostly in the massively part. Nearly the alpha stage of development, Citadel of Sorcery has a long story behind it, and it’s a story that proves strong ideas and innovation sometimes has to shine.
The Price of Innovation
So what does it take to build an MMORPG that completely rewrites what we’ve come to expect from the genre? It takes a degree of bravery, a degree of confidence and a degree of self-sacrifice. MMO Magic CEO Phillip Blood worked on average MMOs for years – the sort of thing that looks to World of Warcraft as a base and rarely manages to live up to a game created with seemingly infinite funds and years of on-going development – but couldn’t convince bosses that his idea for a new style of MMORPG could be a deserving (and necessary) risk. Blood continued working his day job, building the game in his head as he worked on yet another uninspiring concept.
Over the years though, he connected with other developers and told them about his idea. It soon became obvious to them all that this wasn’t an idea that could be built within the confines of the way games are made today. Over 100 leading industry professionals eventually came together in an attempt at building Blood’s concept into a working, playable alpha – for free.
Changing the Massively Multiplayer World
With so many people behind the idea and willing to do the leg work in return for only the joy of working on a new breed of MMO, something that would change the way people currently look at the genre. Blood put it best himself in his email to us: the new system would take somebody spending millions of dollars when nobody would. In the end, it fell on the creators themselves, people usually at the beck and call of major publishers. Together they felt they could do something new, but it wouldn’t be an easy task. The ideas were lofty and most importantly nobody had ever done them before.
There was no precedent on the techniques needed to push the genre onwards.
That doesn’t stop them being worthwhile ideas though. Blood wanted to make an MMO that didn’t rely on grab quests, on fighting endless monsters. He wanted to create an eco-system, a real working world. And the most important thing about creating a world is getting the scale right: Citadel of Sorcery is the full size of planet Earth. And a world of that vastness needs to look at the way standard MMO practise works in a different way. Quests won’t be two minute affairs that has you killing everything you come across, grabbing an item, returning and repeating. In Citadel of Sorcery, each quest is longer than the average game, a full sized RPG within an RPG that will take up to fourteen hours to complete.
That might sound a little intense – especially if you consider how big the world is going to be. Not to worry though, each story is being designed from the ground up to actively involve the player. Each character has his or her own backstory and that backstory will affect the way quests play out. A dynamic system will give the player quests based on where they are in the story, which NPCs are around and what they need to do to get to the next big twist. The same NPC will never give out the same quest twice, and some NPCs may only ever give a single quest to one lucky player. With its own day and night cycle, not only are the world and events of Citadel of Sorcery truly deserving of the word “massively,” but every day will see a transformation from light into darkness and change in on-going current events.
So the way in which content will be delivered is going to be unique to Citadel of Sorcery, but that’s not where the innovation ends. Each enemy or group of enemies in the game have their own motives. You won’t ever see a group of bloodthirsty enemies just sitting and waiting for a player character and they won’t magically appear just because you’ve turned your back. When an enemy is gone, he’s gone, but you can be sure he’ll fight to complete his task. Whether it’s guarding an area, attacking a town or actively hunting a certain character, monsters and enemies work in a slightly different way than perhaps you’d expect., and they’re all the more intelligent for it.
In terms of player involvement, Citadel of Sorcery is shaking up the way things work. It’s impossible, almost, to consider the scale of the world you’ll be entering and the unlikely prospect of anybody ever actually managing to see it all. The goal, Blood tells us, is to have their world full with unique fauna, ever-growing vegetation and more, a goal that would mean not only is it unlikely you’ll ever see the whole world, but each of your journeys to a certain place will be slightly different as well. This isn’t a game that you’ll hear about being end-gamed in a matter of hours. This isn’t a game people will beat faster than the developer ever imagined. This is a game being built with constant changes, unpredictable events, epic landscapes and a level of exploration unavailable since the sixteenth century. It’s a virtual world, and there’s every chance Citadel of Sorcery will completely redefine what we’re talking about when we use the phrase “virtual world.”
It’s an amazing project, and over the coming weeks Blood and all at MMO Magic will be looking to infuse a little finance into their project. Hundreds of developers have spent thousands of hours creating something new and exciting, something never seen before. If you’re one of those people who complain about innovation in video games being dead, put your money where your mouth is and donate.
This is just a small introduction to the world of Citadel of Sorcery, a game I can’t believe I hadn’t heard of before. How is it that we’re bombarded with released about the next big WoW-clone but we can be so pleasantly surprised by something being made on this scale? Do take a look at the MMO Magic website, as well as the Citadel of Sorcery site, for more details on the various new systems in place, as well as some things we didn’t have chance to mention in this article. Expect more details over the coming months: this is a game we should all be keeping an eye on.
© 2012 - DevilsMMO.com