It's been a long road,
To get from there to here.
It's been a long time,
but my time is finally here.
While our intent has been to go with a Phased Approach Methodology for releasing Force of Arms, building a MMORPG is indeed a difficult task and the economic upheaval didn't help out. So we are going to to be releasing different editions of Force of Arms during this year. Fortunately each edition builds upon each other and uses the same server coding
. This will reduce the amount of effort that is required for each version. Also each edition will be for a targeted market, allowing us to keep the MMORPG edition to a niche crowd and avoiding a watered down MMORPG that attempts to cater to everyone.
Listed below are the Editions, description, game-play, targeted audience, expected time of testing, and pricing:Force of Arms: Blitzkrieg Edition
A fast paced arcade-like simplified Mech Combat game. Graphics are 2.5D (isometric) Flash based, playable by nearly any computer with web browser that has Flash installed. This is to be an easy game to play as well as to administer, with very little expansion in mind. Game-play is of the arcade style, mouse to move, and number keys for systems (attack and defense). Fights will be of arenas and battlefields. For combat, Mechs are treated similar to modern tanks, in that they cannot sustain much internal damage (one internal hit is usually enough). There will be very little in customization, only changing out the weapons and using sliders for other system capabilities.Targeted Audience
: Casual Players in Social Networks, looking for a simple Mech game to play.~Time of Testing
: Unfortunately this is entirely based on the release of the code from Multiverse of when this can be done. I'm hoping late spring (this year).Pricing
: Free, but will have ads.Note
: To see a working demonstration of the Flash integration with the Multiverse Server platform, go to battle.multiverse.netForce of Arms: Tournament Edition
The combat portion of the MMORPG edition, using 3D graphics and shaders of the Ogre3D graphics engine. Mechs are treated more like naval warships, able to sustain multiple internal hits before being put out of action. While the combat system is on the sophistication side, customization will be simplified, but offers much more than the above Edition.
Game play is similar to a simulator, but not at real-time capability (due to client, server and communications latency when dealing with a massive scale). Players should think of piloting a Mech being similar to managing a warship. Rather than acting as gunners, weapons are automated and managed. Combat ranges are to be approximately 1km to 3km with arenas and battlemaps will be used, with the expected battlemap being 16km by 16km. All arena bouts and battlemaps will be instanced to regulate group sizes. Essentially multiplayer games wrapped in a MMO shell.
Future expansions are planned, for example, allowing player created content, bringing additional Mechs, massive fights "campaigns" (whatever the platform can handle for a large fight 100 vs 100?) and hopefully a conquest map.Targeted Audience
: Mech Warrior community and gamers who just want action.~ Time of Testing
: Mid to Late SummerPricing
: Free to Play (F2P) and Pay to Play (P2P) options. Though P2P is expected to be a one time cost (and a low one at that). Should a P2P option be made available, those accounts will have no limitations that may be imposed onto F2P accounts.Note
: This Edition will first begin as the WIP2 (Work In Progress, Version 2), which is a social environment and Show Case.Force of Arms: MMORPG Edition
(got to come up with something other than MMORPG
This is putting the RPG onto the MMO of the Tournament Edition. This Edition builds upon the previous edition by adding in all of the non-combat features and role-playing capabilities. Unlike the Tournament Edition, which is heavily Instanced Based, this edition will not be.
This edition will still follow a phased approached method, by plugging in expansions as they become available (at no additional cost). Game play is to be what has been discussed here in the forums.
The MMORPG Edition will first begin with the K-9WD Campaign which is expected to run for one year. After which, a new campaign will begin as the galaxy opens up... hopefully with humans in a position of advantage.Targeted Audience
: MMORPG gamers who want a sophisticated environment and not of the instant gratification or mindless grinding as with most other MMORPG's.~Time of Testing
: A lot of variables exists, which unfortunately a time cannot be given. Going with a worse case situation, I would say Summer of Next Year (but keep in mind this is a phased approach).Pricing
: With the change of the economy, this is really hard to figure out and we'll know more from the experiences of the other two Editions. However, the MMORPG Edition is expected to be P2P.Force of Arms: Bridge Edition
This is really not an edition, but more of integration and not about the Card Game: Bridge. At some point after the release of the MMORPG Edition, we'll integrate all of the Editions together with some access controls in place. Essentially players paying for the MMORPG Edition will have access to the other editions (even with their characters allowing to be used), while other players will have limited access to the MMORPG edition. For example, a player in the Tournament Edition would be able to bring their character into a social hub in the MMORPG Edition, but not be able to take part in anything else.Force of Arms: 2nd Edition
We first have to get the others working first, before figuring this one out. However it turns out, when the 2nd Edition occurs, all players will be able to transfer their accounts/characters into the new system. This avoids the full complete Restart of starting over again. Even if we jumped many years ahead in the story-arc, players could just say their aging characters burn their aging clones for younger clones. (Example: During those skipped years, my character retired from being a Mech Pilot and became a corporate engineer. Now that there is new threat to the corporation, my character is coming out of retirement and shedding his/her old clone body for a new one.
)And going back in time, such as a prequel, I would think would make players irate. Because everything that they had done is all removed and forgotten about.
Well I hope this gives some more insight and confidence that we are still going along, even during bad times.
Please provide any comments, questions, and/or concerns you may have. I can't fully explain everything in one posting, or if I did, it would be a couple of boring pages to read.