Mortal Online

By Alec Meer on April 15th, 2008 at 5:03 pm.

Until a fantasy-themed MMO crashes and burns quite as disastrously as Auto Assault did, it’s likely that wizards’n'warriors will remain the prevailing trend for experience point-gobbling. So, it’s not surprising that’s the tack taken by Mortal Online. See here:

A few details on the game lurk beneath the cut.

Truth be told this is the first I’ve heard about Mortal. It’s Unreal 3-based, hence The Pretty (and an immediate concern on my part that system requirements will be damningly high-end, a la Vanguard), and it’s from Swedish start-up devs Star Vault. The official website offers similarly wondrous/outrageous claims to Earthrise, which makes me wonder if promising the sort of moon on a stick every WoW-fatigued gamer is baying for is some sort of trend.

So, it’s talking about genuinely real-time combat that’s based as much on your own abilities as your character’s stats, no levelling system (instead, there’s a skill system that’s reminiscent of Eve, at least on paper), an entirely open world in which you can brutally assault absolutely anyone, build houses or start your own religion, and, oh, everything.

Which, after having spent the last couple of days grinding warehouses in City of Heroes whilst watching an experience bar grow by millimetre increments, all sounds pretty good to me. However, as with Earthrise, all I’m gonna commit to now is “I’ll believe it when I see it”.

It’s due out next Summer, and, by the devs’ own admission “with its deep game system, Mortal Online will probably be regarded as hardcore by many.”

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23 Comments »

  1. Cyrenic says:

    which makes me wonder if promising the sort of moon on a stick every WoW-fatigued gamer is baying for is some sort of trend.

    That’s a trend that’s been going on since Everquest. See Darkfall for an example. Mortal Online looks like it has many of the markings of vaporware, including the over-ambitious feature list and a likely to be delayed release date of “next Summer”.

  2. Okami says:

    Oooohh.. pretty..

    And they totally stole that rhino from Age of Conan…

    EDIT: I don’t know the game looks a lot like GT5…

  3. Noc says:

    Also, the trailer appears to be about Grand Turismo 5. You may want to look at that, in case it’s not just me.

  4. Alec Meer says:

    Er. That’s odd. Something’s changed on Gametrailers’ end. And the right trailer still shows on their site. DAMN YOU, GAMETRAILERS.

  5. Jonathan says:

    Oh Alec, you don’t really mean that. You know Gametrailers are trying super hard.

    Mortal online may look incredibly directive and stuffy. But it sure has purty lighting.

  6. 18Rabbit says:

    The Unreal engine shore is purdy. Making a game that you admit will be regarded as hard core is certainly a recipe for success though. I guess if their team is small enough they might make money(someday, maybe).

  7. Cigol says:

    Thinly veiled ‘lets discuss Gran Turismo instead’ article? Sure is pretty.

  8. Nuyan says:

    It sounds a lot like Darkfall Online, but with Darkfall Online I actually have more faith in it coming out someday soon than this game.

  9. Damien says:

    Why aren’t people sick of elves yet?

  10. Stick says:

    But… but… they’re Swedes! We’re dependable! And, erm… lack funny distinguishing national stereotypes!

    You cynical types you. Can I at least hope?

  11. Jog says:

    Well it’s either this or Darkfall. I’ve tried a LOT of MMOs and nothing beats Ultima Online and these two games actually look very similar to UO (PvP anywhere, anyone, full loot, housing, good crafting).

    I can only say one thing. The worst MMOs I’ve ever played is WoW…

  12. Matu says:

    Stick, do you want me to, um, stick it to you?

    Stereotypical young Swedish male: pointy blond hair and earrings.

  13. Seth Tipps says:

    Looks pretty cool. The art is phenomenal, and the animations seemed pretty solid. The AI programmer needs to check himself though; the scripting for the rhino was such that it slid about quite noticeably. That sort of detail is noticeable in near photo-realistic environments.

  14. Chris R says:

    Jog: I agree that WoW was too dumbed down (“You can only go from here to here… you can’t hit him in this area… naughty naughty!” etc, etc), but I think that’s why it’s so successful… WoW is very easy to get into for the casual gamer types–before they realize they have to raid 7 hours a day in the end game, but I think Blizzard has fixed that so now you only have to PVP for 4 hours a day to get ph4t l3wts.

    To a hardcore person like yourself, WoW is going to be too constrained, but that constraint is also why the mmo is so successful.

  15. Jonathan says:

    I have to admit I’ve never even tried an mmorpg. This is largely because of the monthly fees. GCSE IT and the Daily Mail (for when the Beano started using too many big words) taught me never ever to use a credit card. The fact 90% seem to take place in the same sodding place doesn’t help. Eve Online is the only game I can see changing this and thats largely due to it seeming to accept subscription through Steam.

    Also I’m deeply ashamed I misspelled purdy. I find this fact deeply troubling.

  16. malkav11 says:

    I think this is some sort of record for the fastest an MMO’s lost me as a potential customer (er, aside from Korean ones, which I don’t even consider anymore after trying Lineage (1), Maple Story, Silk Road, and one or two others.). Opening – “Ooo, pretty.” “in full PvP” – Oh, well, there goes that.

  17. Chris H. says:

    The shot of the players drawing weapons reminded me of an old favorite Bushido Blade on PS I. I like the one-hit-one-kill system in BB, but for an MMO obviously they would have to make it take longer to actually kill someone. But the idea of not just wearing somebody’s health bar down, but simply harming and killing them has its appeal – suddenly it doesn’t help to tank up on HP. If you’ve ever seen a movie called Twilight Samurai, you’ll know what I’m imagining. It probably is vaporware, though.

  18. Anthony Damiani says:

    [quote]“in full PvP” – Oh, well, there goes that.[/quote]

    You, too, huh?

  19. Dogun says:

    I’d really like to see an MMO where character death means reroll, someday.

  20. Matt Dovey says:

    Dogun: Hardcore Diablo 2? That stuff was panic-inducing.

    I can’t imagine such an MMO being too successful – anyone losing a 6 month old character is just going to quit – but it sure would make it interesting. Eve PvP works so well because there’s a lot of time investment to lose if your ship goes down, and that gives you a hell of an adrenalin rush. It’s like crack after a while.

  21. Stick says:

    @Matu: Heh. Not the stereotype I’d expected.

    @others: I liked the bit from the official page about PvP being an integral part of the game, as opposed to a tacked-on afterthought. To each their own, of course.

    Paraphrasing a conversation from EVE:
    “If I wanted to play fight-the-computer while chatting, I’d install X3 and alt-tab to IRC.”
    (Also, “Maybe all the pirates aren’t dirty griefers? Maybe we’re just playing the damn game?”)

  22. KingMob says:

    @Dogun: How do you handle disconnects? Really? OK then, how do you handle people who disconnect on purpose if they’re dying?

    Character death won’t mean a reroll until you can play through an MMO in less than an hour. Heck, people can’t even stand a loss of XP from death anymore…
    designers are going farther and farther away from a death penalty, for good reason – it penalizes players with limited amounts of time available, which happens to coincide with the players that have the most money.

  23. The Shed says:

    The Knight guy’s obviously gonna win. Oh, wait, the huge dragon. Obv.

    Dabbled in several Mumorpiguhs, but they never held my interest long enough. It was either a case of: play it enough to get a good character, i.e. use all your time on it; or go off and live your live while playing a whole host of smaller games that provide equal enjoyment.

    Agree with KingMob, playing for multiple hours only to lose everything puts players off. And Devs don’t want that. But I do find the idea of a Memoh being more grounded in reality (you die, you dead, foo!) appealing. Far more intense.