The Chronicles of Spellborn
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?
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
* Bloodwarrior (body + body)
* Furyhammer (body + focus)
* Wrathguard (body + mind)
* Runemage (mind + body)
* Ancestral Mage (mind + mind)
* Void Seer (mind + focus)
* Trickster (focus + body)
* Skinshifter (focus + focus)
* Deathhand (focus + mind)
Make with the pretty pictures already!