Friday, 2 May 2014

The World Of Darkness MMO details leak

Looks like we have screenshots and a playtest manual (covered by NDA) for The World Of Darkness MMO as it stood in March, just a month before its cancellation. This is entirely personal opinion based on looking at the article, which discusses the manual, as well as the images.

Visually, it looks great, as might be expected. The grime, the graffiti, and the not-too-intrusive controls.

Just a few example characters as this is a playtest, but a full game would have had at least as much avatar versatility as EVE does these days. (I would love to see a Nosferatu subset for avatar creation.)

That shot of a hunting vampire perched on top of a streetlight is particularly cool.

In terms of gameplay, this is clearly a partial playtest as it concentrates on a small subgame. It’s all about what vampires can do (the only thing mortals get to do is become vampires) and focuses on using human/ghoul NPC proxies to control territory and attack other vampires’ holdings.

Humanity is more about how well you preserve the Masquerade than how humane you are, although of course violent attacks drop it. The threat of permadeath which concerned me is restricted to vampires with Humanity 0, and it sounds fairly easy to keep it higher than that - social players hanging out in Elysium should be able to keep it high enough that other PCs attacking them is actively discouraged. So I could see different playstyles existing side by side and rarely interacting, which could have worked to let the social chat side and the PVP fighters not get in each other’s ways.

No clan weaknesses yet, but the hunting systems includes going after specific people for specific kinds of blood so I could see Ventrue easily being tagged with a restriction there, and broods (in place of guilds) involve Blood Bonds and betrayal, which might have had a specific effect on Tremere.

Like the MET LARP, the card game VTES or the boardgame Prince Of The City, it looks like it simulates one particular playstyle, in the case of this test night-to-night territorial conflicts. To get the full Vampire feel, it would have needed a wider variety of things to do, NPC conflicts and adventures as well.

Looks fun, though.

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