The Chronicles of Spellborn (NSF56K) - Now available

DissociaterDissociater Registered User regular
edited May 2009 in MMO Extravaganza
The Chronicles of Spellborn

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The main site is now at http://spellborn.acclaim.com/index.html There is also a free trial button on the top right of the page. You can also experience the premium content for free until July 7th, so get it now while the gettin's good!

What is this?
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The Chronicles of Spellborn (TCoS) is an MMO under development by Spellborn NV using the renowned Unreal® Engine™. Players take the role of heroes in a post-apocalyptic fantasy setting where a vast adventure unfolds in an authentic living world.

Essentially TCoS is a game in which players choose to assume the role of a hero in a post-apocalyptic dark fantasy world. Within hollow rock-realms known as Shards, floating in the confines of the magical Deadspell Storm, a civilization consisting of humans and daevi struggles to rediscover the pieces of a shattered world. Multiple Shards are known to this civilization, called the Enclave of the Five Sacrifices. Other Shards are known to a few of the Enclave’s elite, and some are almost certainly myths grown out of the struggle to survive in the aftermath of the destruction of the Ancestor World.

More:
The Deadspell Storm is thought to have caused the destruction of the Ancestor World by some, while others believe that it is the result of the destruction. It is possible that the Oracle knows of the truth, however this knowledge has never been shared with the citizens of the Enclave.

The Enclave is an alliance of five High Houses. The political balance is relatively stable, however the Houses vie with each other for power on a regular basis. The citizens of the Enclave believe in cooperation, as long as it furthers the ideals of their own allegiances. As a result they form a united front against external threats. Once a threat has been controlled or mollified, the political infighting becomes intense. While terms of good and evil mean little, who your allies are at a given moment is of the utmost importance.

In this unique setting the player quickly becomes part of the struggle to rediscover pieces of a shattered world, the intrigues of the High Houses and the exploration of Shards and long-forgotten places through Ancestral Quests.

While TCoS shares aspects of game play which may be familiar to individuals who have played other MMORPGs, we have focused on designing a game with a unique story which looks, sounds, and (most importantly) plays differently.

You can see it in the art style: a balance of realistic vs. cartoon fantasy. This is the "European Style" we’ve aimed to achieve. The entire art and level design team has adapted everything from models and objects to textures and lighting to create a fantastic world in an original style. There’s no single other game which shares this particular blend of styles.

We’ve got an entirely original score composed by Jesper Kyd who has been critically acclaimed for hit work on titles such as the Hitman series. Complimenting this, we’ve taken a subtle vision of ambient sound and turned it into what sounds like a world. Samples of the most otherworldly and yet oddly familiar sounds have been crafted with care to further mold the way you perceive the environments.

Our philosophies in design and game play have been focused on a goal: easy to play, difficult to master. We don’t want to make a game so difficult to get into that nobody will take the time, yet at the same time we don’t want boredom to ever set in. While this is easier said than done, we consider this to be the ultimate measure of our work, and we take it very seriously.

In addition to this here’s a short list of interesting game play elements: PvP combat on varying levels with a measure of skill not present in any other MMORPG, no more "fire-and-forget" play where you go let the dog out while fighting, the ability to influence the world and unlock new content with your House while competing against others, in-town statues of characters which can be won in multiple ways,...and that’s just a few.

What about the combat?
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Tactical Choices:
What we are doing with the combat system in TCoS is to increase the effect of tactical choices made by the player during combat. Furthermore we think that too many games use a combat system that is too dependent on damage outcome using formulas and percentages that sort of take away player control, and can take away the joy of victory. For instance this can be especially true of a combatant who wins due to a lucky streak of critical hits, or by using a weapon which does random bonus damage.

Targeting System
One of the things that has drastically changed in our game (in relation to most other MMOGs) is the targeting system. We have removed auto attack combat where you would target an opponent and click the attack button once and wait utill the opponent is defeated. Instead you hit where you swing by actually keeping your opponent manually targeted using a targeting 'reticule' or 'crosshair'. So if you win a battle it means your choices and reactions made the difference, not dice rolls and statistics.

The Skilldeck
Skills in a character's Skillbook are not yet available during a fight; they must be placed into the Skilldeck to be used during combat.

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The player must select several skills from the Skillbook and place these into the character's Skilldeck. The Skilldeck can be compared to a deck of cards as seen in many collectible trading card games. It consists of 6 rows (called tiers) with 5 skill-slots per row. Each skill-slot can be filled with a chosen skill, as long as the skill was learned and is available in the character's Skillbook. There are some minor rules for placing skills in the Skilldeck, but other then that the players are completely free to experiment and create their own fighting styles and tactics. Teams can coordinate the composition of their Skilldecks to increase their battle performance during large tournaments in the Quarterstone Arena.

Combat
During combat only one of the six tiers is active at any time. Combat always starts at the first tier. When a skill is executed the next tier becomes active and so on until a skill is used from the last (sixth) tier, in which case the first tier becomes active again. The time it takes before the next tier becomes activated (and thus when the next skill can be executed) depends on which skill was used and the current attack speed of the character. To execute a skill, the player selects it with the number (1 to 5) keys (this is similar to selecting a weapon in a first person shooter game) and then uses the skill with a press of their mouse button. Once used, the skill takes effect in the area where the player is aiming.

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In addition to this, skills can form combo-chains. All skills have a combo type and these combo types initiate certain bonuses if they are used in the correct order. For instance a skill can be labeled as an opener, which means that it starts a possible combo-chain. A skill labeled as a finisher ends the combo-chain and will do increased damage (or provide additional positive effects for the character, or negative effects for their opponent) depending on the skills used in between the opener and the finisher.

Being prepared is just half the work. A focused Skilldeck with flexibility to adjust against various types of opponents will greatly improve a character's battle performance. Players are free to play around with their Skilldeck and adjust it as much as they like to. They can change skills at any time (except during combat) in order to defeat a previously too difficult enemy. Players will even have the option to ‘save’ different Skilldeck setups. This can be useful if players use certain team tactics with their guild or if the player wants a special Skilldeck for use during PvP encounters.

Well, what about the different Classes?
The basis of the characters statistics are the three main attributes being Body, Mind and Focus. These main attributes are linked to the class archetypes. Warriors have body as basic attribute, rogues have the focus attribute and casters have the mind attribute.

Each class archetype has three specialized classes. The specialized classes each have the basic attribute from their archetype class plus a second attribute. This allows each specialized class to have to 2 attributes as shown in the list below.

Warrior:


* Bloodwarrior (body + body)
* Furyhammer (body + focus)
* Wrathguard (body + mind)


Caster:


* Runemage (mind + body)
* Ancestral Mage (mind + mind)
* Void Seer (mind + focus)


Rogue:


* Trickster (focus + body)
* Skinshifter (focus + focus)
* Deathhand (focus + mind)

Make with the pretty pictures already!
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P.S.

Dissociater on
«134

Posts

  • MayGodHaveMercyMayGodHaveMercy Registered User regular
    edited March 2008
    Wow.... I really like the style.
    The whole "Reticle targetting system" bit worries me a little, though.

    MayGodHaveMercy on
    XBL: Mercy XXVI - Steam: Mercy_XXVI - PSN: Mercy XXVI
  • DissociaterDissociater Registered User regular
    edited March 2008
    I really like the style too, and from what I hear, there are objectives (like finding new shard worlds and taking them over for your guild) which somehow immortalize you in the game world via statues. Although I'm not so sure how impressive it will be to walk into a city and see a statue of 'Ipwnnewbs' in the town square.

    The reticle targeting system looks hit and miss (no pun intended). I just hope it doesn't end up like Savage's (at least Savage 1, I haven't played 2), where a laggy connection can ruin your day.

    Dissociater on
  • DissociaterDissociater Registered User regular
    edited March 2008
    Oh, and I didn't put it in my OP, but apparently character customization is paramount in the game. Kind of like city of heroes. Sure you'll find things like enhancements which may make your character a bit stronger or faster and the like, but the way you want your character to look is up to you at creation. I don't know how they implement this yet though, if maybe a certain wardrobe is available to you at certain fame levels and such.

    Dissociater on
  • MayGodHaveMercyMayGodHaveMercy Registered User regular
    edited March 2008
    Shit. Shit these games ruin me. I spend 35% of my time playing, and 65% creating/designing/rerolling characters. D:

    MayGodHaveMercy on
    XBL: Mercy XXVI - Steam: Mercy_XXVI - PSN: Mercy XXVI
  • DissociaterDissociater Registered User regular
    edited March 2008
    Shit. Shit these games ruin me. I spend 35% of my time playing, and 65% creating/designing/rerolling characters. D:

    You and me both. I probably have 40 CoH/CoV characters under level 10 on just about every server.

    Dissociater on
  • SegSeg Registered User regular
    edited March 2008
    Those character models and building models look an awful lot like models from Asheron's Call 2.

    Which is to say, I think the character models look quite nice.

    I know the site says the engine is the Unreal engine, but those models look so familiar to me.

    (Especially the bottom three screenshots and the female with the red mask.)

    Seg on
  • WrenWren Registered User regular
    edited March 2008
    so what is its unique selling feature? besides the overbloom of course

    Wren on
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  • DissociaterDissociater Registered User regular
    edited March 2008
    Wren wrote: »
    so what is its unique selling feature? besides the overbloom of course

    Seems there are a few that they're trying to do, whether it works remains to be seen.

    I think their biggest selling point is going to be an action based combat system, where gear and dice rolls aren't what effect the outcome of the fight, but rather your skills and reactions. Some of the gameplay videos make it look like a cross between WoW and Zelda.

    Dissociater on
  • MayGodHaveMercyMayGodHaveMercy Registered User regular
    edited March 2008
    The idea of the "Combat Deck" or whatever seems pretty intriguing, if you ask me. I'm interested in hearing more.

    MayGodHaveMercy on
    XBL: Mercy XXVI - Steam: Mercy_XXVI - PSN: Mercy XXVI
  • ForarForar #432 Toronto, Ontario, CanadaRegistered User regular
    edited March 2008
    The combat features and potential for leaving your mark on the world are appealing to me as well.

    I think I'll keep an eye on this one.

    Forar on
    First they came for the Muslims, and we said NOT TODAY, MOTHERFUCKER!
  • WrenWren Registered User regular
    edited March 2008
    Wren wrote: »
    so what is its unique selling feature? besides the overbloom of course

    Seems there are a few that they're trying to do, whether it works remains to be seen.

    I think their biggest selling point is going to be an action based combat system, where gear and dice rolls aren't what effect the outcome of the fight, but rather your skills and reactions. Some of the gameplay videos make it look like a cross between WoW and Zelda.

    yeah I watched the 250 meg trailer thing on the site. looked a lot like morrowind or something, as far as combat goes. not sure what the point of the reticle is since there's no locational damage as far as I can tell. doesn't look terrible, but it doesn't look that interesting either (to me). I think its the yet-an-other-generic-fantasy-setting that did it for me.

    but who knows what it'll be like in the future.

    Wren on
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  • DissociaterDissociater Registered User regular
    edited March 2008
    The idea of the "Combat Deck" or whatever seems pretty intriguing, if you ask me. I'm interested in hearing more.

    On the main page of their website there's a gameplay video of the starting area, it gives a pretty good idea of the skill deck. Big file though.

    It's like a rotating cylinder with 6 sides. Each side is a higher tier of skills. You start at tier one. When you use a skill, the bar rotates and you have 5 new abilities to choose from on tier two. I think you can customize each tier and I think you can put some of the same skills on each tier if you want, but the key is chaining combos, as you have a window of opportunity to use abilities on your current tier. If you miss that window, you drop down to the previous tier.

    I think it sounds cool, because you have to manage your skilldeck as you fight. So if you need a heal but the tier you're on doesn't have any heals, you've got to get to one that does or you're fubar. Sounds kind of fun.

    Dissociater on
  • MayGodHaveMercyMayGodHaveMercy Registered User regular
    edited March 2008
    But we're all so desperate for something new, that everything looks good to us.

    MayGodHaveMercy on
    XBL: Mercy XXVI - Steam: Mercy_XXVI - PSN: Mercy XXVI
  • WrenWren Registered User regular
    edited March 2008
    But we're all so desperate for something new, that everything looks good to us.

    I found a neat in-development, sci-fi mmo I might make a topic about. I'm sure people here have maybe heard of it though

    just reading all the developer posts on its forums and such to get an idea about certain stuff that the FAQ doesn't cover

    Wren on
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  • DissociaterDissociater Registered User regular
    edited March 2008
    Wren wrote: »
    But we're all so desperate for something new, that everything looks good to us.

    I found a neat in-development, sci-fi mmo I might make a topic about. I'm sure people here have maybe heard of it though

    just reading all the developer posts on its forums and such to get an idea about certain stuff that the FAQ doesn't cover

    Go for it, I'm starving for a good sci-fi mmo myself. I've tried a lot of them, and none have appealed so far.

    Dissociater on
  • reVersereVerse Attack and Dethrone God Registered User regular
    edited March 2008
    This game looks pretty interesting. The combat looks like it could be actually fun.

    reVerse on
  • WrenWren Registered User regular
    edited March 2008
    Wren wrote: »
    But we're all so desperate for something new, that everything looks good to us.

    I found a neat in-development, sci-fi mmo I might make a topic about. I'm sure people here have maybe heard of it though

    just reading all the developer posts on its forums and such to get an idea about certain stuff that the FAQ doesn't cover

    Go for it, I'm starving for a good sci-fi mmo myself. I've tried a lot of them, and none have appealed so far.

    done and done

    Wren on
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  • AldoAldo Hippo Hooray Registered User regular
    edited March 2008
    I'm in the closed beta for this, so I can't really comment on what it is like behind the scenes. I wish I could, though.

    Anyway, the game is unique in a number of ways, ranging from interesting to silly to "oh dear":

    1) fast-paced FPS-like combat
    2) thousands of ways to customize your toon
    3) skill decks
    4) European comic style graphics
    5) c-c-c-combobreakers
    8) environmental sound (if you walk under a wooden roof you will hear the rain fall on it etc)
    6) made by a Dutch company
    7) parts of the soundtrack made by Within Temptation
    8) has been in development for years
    9) unclarity about an American publisher

    I was calling this game the bees knees over a year ago, I pointed out some huge fallacies in an article published by a Dutch newspaper (they had the picture of that snake and the text under it said: "in game screenshot from World of Warcraft") and got in beta soon after.

    Aldo on
  • WrenWren Registered User regular
    edited March 2008
    oh its not like they can afford real lawyers anyways. tell us

    Wren on
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  • AldoAldo Hippo Hooray Registered User regular
    edited March 2008
    Wren wrote: »
    oh its not like they can afford real lawyers anyways. tell us
    They live within punching distance of me. :P

    Aldo on
  • sidhaethesidhaethe Registered User regular
    edited March 2008
    Shit. Shit these games ruin me. I spend 35% of my time playing, and 65% creating/designing/rerolling characters. D:

    You and me both. I probably have 40 CoH/CoV characters under level 10 on just about every server.

    ...and then there's me, who's bought 8 extra character slots in Guild Wars because I could never make my mind up on which pretty to create/play.

    sidhaethe on
  • dachishdachish Registered User regular
    edited March 2008
    They put up a beta video the site a few days ago if anyone missed it:
    http://www.tcos.com/downloads/xfer/The_Chronicles_of_Spellborn__Azrael_&_Raznilof_Part1.wmv

    dachish on
    My heart it ceases, my breath undrawn.
    Eyes forever focused, on the sanguine, metal dawn.
  • AldoAldo Hippo Hooray Registered User regular
    edited March 2008
    Stupid NDA, I can't even tell you folks how much time I spent on the character creator.

    Aldo on
  • DerrickDerrick Registered User regular
    edited March 2008
    I do really like the concept art quite a bit. If the rest of the world lives up to that level of originality, I'll certainly give it a shot.

    Derrick on
    Steam and CFN: Enexemander
  • cowmeetcowmeet Registered User
    edited March 2008
    I really think game developers think excessive amounts of bloom = instant profit.

    cowmeet on
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  • reVersereVerse Attack and Dethrone God Registered User regular
    edited March 2008
    Well, bloom makes things look pretty.

    reVerse on
  • cowmeetcowmeet Registered User
    edited March 2008
    Just a little is good, in my opinion at least.

    cowmeet on
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  • WrenWren Registered User regular
    edited March 2008
    well its the UT engine, so I imagine the bloom is written right into the deepest and hardest to reach parts of the code. nicknamed, Mount Bloom

    Wren on
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  • GlalGlal Registered User regular
    edited March 2008
    This is excessive bloom? Sometimes I really get the feeling people whine about bloom just to whine about bloom.

    Glal on
  • WrenWren Registered User regular
    edited March 2008
    if you can see it, its too much

    Wren on
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  • GlalGlal Registered User regular
    edited March 2008
    Apparently.

    Glal on
  • DerrickDerrick Registered User regular
    edited March 2008
    The videos don't seem to live up to the artistic vision.

    I'll have to see something better to get involved.

    Derrick on
    Steam and CFN: Enexemander
  • DissociaterDissociater Registered User regular
    edited March 2008
    Glal wrote: »
    This is excessive bloom? Sometimes I really get the feeling people whine about bloom just to whine about bloom.

    I think it's become an in-joke. I propose we all find some new graphical oddity to complain about.

    "Ragdoll? Again?"

    Dissociater on
  • GlalGlal Registered User regular
    edited March 2008
    When's this 3d fad gonna end already? :|

    Glal on
  • reVersereVerse Attack and Dethrone God Registered User regular
    edited March 2008
    Graphics? Why, when I was a youngin' all we had was a bunch of text and that's the way we liked it, gosh nabbit.

    reVerse on
  • AldoAldo Hippo Hooray Registered User regular
    edited March 2008
    Language? Back in my days we just slammed a female unconscious and dragged her back to the cave for some passionate slam-slam.

    What I'm trying to say is *grunt* Grrruahhhg

    Aldo on
  • WrenWren Registered User regular
    edited March 2008
    well to be honest, ragdolls are kinda terrible when they're all loose and the actual joints are not taken into consideration. pre-canned death animations at least look real in comparison.

    Wren on
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  • HallowedFaithHallowedFaith Call me Cloud. Registered User regular
    edited March 2008
    Wren wrote: »
    well to be honest, ragdolls are kinda terrible when they're all loose and the actual joints are not taken into consideration. pre-canned death animations at least look real in comparison.

    Yeah, even advanced ragdoll systems don't really take into consideration all the detail joints and more specifically; they all seem to fail on balance. Ragdolls are either super stiff or super loose. However, that new Jedi Knight game looks to have decent ragdoll physics.

    HallowedFaith on
    I'm making video games. DesignBy.Cloud
  • GlalGlal Registered User regular
    edited March 2008
    Wren wrote: »
    well to be honest, ragdolls are kinda terrible when they're all loose and the actual joints are not taken into consideration. pre-canned death animations at least look real in comparison.
    Yeah, but everything else about those animations doesn't. Besides, in most games, I don't want realistic ragdoll, I want over-the-top laugh-your-ass-off hilarity.

    Glal on
  • SnareSnare Registered User
    edited March 2008
    I love the concept behind the combat with the different tiers of skills and possible combos, far more tactical that seen by WoW! This could be great!

    Snare on
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