Trip Report: Earth Eternal Free MMO
- September 01, 2009 00:00 AM PT
We recently sat down with Matt Mihaly, Sparkplay Media's CEO and Creative Director, to look at the company's upcoming free-to-play MMO Earth Eternal. Early details, including a look at a pretty cool new home-base feature after the jump.
Sparkplay Media recently visited the GamePro offices to demonstrate its upcoming free-to-play MMO Earth Eternal. This game is targeting the 14-17 year-old crowd, and as such has stripped away some of the complexities of games like World of Warcraft in favor of more streamlined, easy-to-grasp gameplay and a unique approach to home bases. CEO and Creative Director Matt Mihaly walked us through a very early build of the game.
What we saw: Like most MMOs, Earth Eternal begins with a fairly robust character creation kit. You can pick from 22 different races. Rather than use traditional fantasy-based memes like elves, dwarves, and humans, this MMO uses anthropomorphic animal types. You can choose from bird people, owls, bears, and even Yeti. We found it interesting that the various races all have the same core attributes. This means that players won't have to make tough decisions regarding their race; instead you can simply choose to be whomever you like.
The game does have four different character classes - Knight, Mage, Druid, and Rogue. These characters all have a set of core attributes that only they can use as well as "open" abilities that any class can utilize. In keeping with the younger, more streamlined gameplay emphasis, player characters use might for physical abilities/attacks and Will for magic abilities/attacks.Visually, the game has a similar looks and feel to World of Warcraft, although it's more cartoon-ish and colorful. One of the most interesting things we noticed about the game universe is that it's modeled closely after Europe. You can clearly see England, Spain, Germany, and other countries on the map. Mihaly told us that his development team thought it would be interesting and fun to combine a bunch of different mythologies with real-world settings in Europe. It's realistic enough that you can actually visit the London Underground as you play.
Mission types are typical of the MMO category of games. Once you accept a mission from an NPC, you go to a location and typically fight your way through a series of enemies or solve puzzles or protect someone or something. One big difference is that, while Earth Eternal is a socially-oriented title, the dungeons are being designed for between one and five players. This will make for a more compact experience for younger gamers.
One of the most interesting and unique aspects of Earth Eternal is a feature Mihaly called Groves. This is the player housing system and it's intriguing because once they gain access to it (it will take a few levels and achievements), gamers inherit a complete region that they can fully customize. Mihaly made the point that gamers will even be able to build their own PvP arenas, mini games, and other city services.
Our demonstration of the game was only 45 minutes, so we only received a cursory overview of Earth Eternal. However, as GamePro receives more information, we'll keep you posted.