Go Westeros In The Game Of Thrones MMO

By Craig Pearson on March 9th, 2012 at 4:00 pm.

Spoilers: When you play the game of thrones, you win or you die.
All it takes is a TV show for everything and everyone to want a manly hug from you. Bigpoint’s free-to-play MMO is the third game I’m aware of that’s based on George RR Martin’s easily spoiled fantasy doorstops, A Song of Ice and Fire, but it’s the one that’s interesting me the most. It plonks you right in the middle of Westeros during the first book’s timeframe at a very specific moment, and gives you everywhere from the North to the South to explore. The Lannisters, Baratheons and Starks are all scrabbling to grasp flicking tail of power (can you guess why?), and you can either take a side and get involved in the political PvP backstabbery, or wander the land headbutting the environment in PvE. Actual spoilers below.

So the three main factions, that you can’t join but you can support with your own guild, are trying to manoeuvre their choice of Hand into power at King’s Landing. They’re attempting to give a hand, as it were. Aha! I presume it’s just after the fall of the Robert Baratheon, the head of House Baratheon, King of the Seven Kingdoms, aka Mark Addy. However it goes, you have choices from the get go. To join a guild is to become part of the struggle for the power of Westeros. That includes supporting a major player before swapping allegiances to another, or bribing other guilds to boost your push for the iron throne. All part of the fiction’s friction.

Underlying all this is the meaty hack and slashery that typifies Westeros, with PvP battles taking place dynamically, in the world and in arenas, and medieval objectives like defending wagons leading up to vast assaults on forts for the end-game. I’m hoping for a sellsword option, because I like the word and quite fancied that life. I’d really the option to take the Black.

How all this will be made F2P is what’s worrying me: I can picture being cleaved in twain by a Lannister-supporting Valyrian Steel sworded paid up enemy, or maybe you can buy classes like The Mountain, and wander the lands, committing unfathomable acts? I would very much suggest that you don’t go that route, BigPoint, if only for the sake of the children.

Via IGN.

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27 Comments »

  1. Roxton says:

    For some reason, I think because of having played WoW, I always envisage an MMO as requiring an extremely high level of long-term time commitment, possibly to the point where playing another MMO is no longer an option. Maybe it’s different with the F2P market – I suppose it depends in part on how you monetise it (e.g. accelerated XP for cash) – but my question is this: with what feels like hundreds of MMOs in the pipeline, who is going to be playing them? Are we supposed to pick one and stick to it, or play several simultaneously? Is the latter only an option if you have deep pockets? The advantage of a F2P model is that I can just drop into this and see if I like it, but then most paid MMOs have trial periods anyway. I guess I just don’t fully understand the MMO market at the moment.

    • Drinking with Skeletons says:

      That is an extremely good point. Perhaps a bubble is about to burst?

    • lhzr says:

      >> Are we supposed to pick one and stick to it, or play several simultaneously?

      If you’d lead a normal, healthy life, you wouldn’t have time for a MMO, unless you wouldn’t play anything else. So best leave them to those that need them, I’d say.

    • Verio says:

      I think this concern is part of the idea behind F2P games, especially now that we are moving away from the free-grindy-korean-MMO genre.

      The way I see it is this:
      - Being free, the barrier to entry is near zero. You can try it (and have some friends try it) risk free, because the only commitment you’ve made is the time to download and/or register.
      - Being free, there is no internal “I am paying for this” pressure to play regularly. Play nightly, or play 2 hours only on the weekends, it’s up to you.
      - …and of course the monetized aspect. In my view this basically caters precisely to all the adult gamers I know. They have money to buy games or spend on them, but have relatively little time to play. So maybe you only play a few hours on the weekend, but you want those to be productive fun hours. The “F2P” model gives you the choice of dropping 2 bucks on an “XP Potion” that boosts xp gain for the night, and a few bucks on a badass sword so you can get right into it… or whatever. The idea is, at least from my perspective, that you the user have a choice over how much you spend, and where your money goes.

      What always intrigues me about these games is to examine their cash-options, and see what you get for ~15 a month, i.e. the traditional MMO fee.

  2. Premium User Badge RedViv says:

    More importantly, can I buy a new nose if I lose it in battle?

    • Askeladd says:

      Why would you do that? Loosing noses in battles is character development.

      • Premium User Badge RedViv says:

        See, that’s why I want to know. Determine what kind of “RPG” this is. Though as F2P and by Bigpoint, I really should not be that delusional.
        Either way it turns out, CK2 is probably going to be the most Game-of-Thrones-y thing out for a very long time.

  3. quaunaut says:

    “I really the option to take the Black.”

    I think you a word.

  4. Maldomel says:

    I imagine that taking the black woumd be a bit problematic. Or boring. Or both, unless you can run away and get chased until you get caught and killed. With some permadeath mechanic. That would be fun.

    • equatorian says:

      “Hello, you worm. Your first quest is to stand on this part of the Wall. Your second quest is to get beaten by the obligatory Wall bullies. Your third quest is to stand on this other part of the Wall. Your fourth quest is to….what, ranging? Don’t be silly, you’re a newcomer, the ranging will mostly happen in the third book.”

      On another note, how long do you think it’ll be until they start selling direwolf puppies as premium items?

  5. TsunamiWombat says:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1wc-AQJ2MYo

    Obligatory for the story title.

  6. sonofsanta says:

    Well that won’t work. Every non-bastard will support the Starks and the North against those softie Southron types, clearly.

    Also: if it’s about a new Hand, it could either be at the very beginning of the book after Jon Arryn’s death* or at the end when the position is vacant again. I;d have thought.

    *is it a spoiler if it’s something that happened before the book started? I just don’t know with the rabid ASOIAF fandom :S

    • Premium User Badge Craig Pearson says:

      Could be. I dunno. The only real struggle for the Hand’s position was when Robert went the way of a not alive person.

  7. kastanok says:

    So I submitted my email, and it responds with “Thank you, m’lord.”

    This does not bode well, for a game based upon a series of books with such strong and (mostly) believable female characters. Why not “Thank you, sire” or ask or just plain “Thank you”?

    Now I wonder if they will even let us choose female characters – play Brienne of Tarth-s besides the Rob Starkes.

    • Malawi Frontier Guard says:

      Come play, my Lord.

    • Premium User Badge RedViv says:

      The only one I’d want to play in that setting is Nymeria.

    • Berzee says:

      Wait, I’m confused. Does it bode ill because “m’lord” is some kind of inherently offensive term that reminds you of Evony? Or is it just because they used a gender-specific phrase in a response that could be sent to anyone?

      • kastanok says:

        Berzee — The latter. It shows a lack of thought or awareness that females could want to play their game, or players of either gender wish to play a female character. It COULD just be a solitary example of thoughtlessness by a single web developer, but it’s a poor sign for many players’ first contact with GoTMMO
        .
        It occurs they would have been best using ‘Ser’.

  8. neonordnance says:

    Simply put, this will NOT WORK unless there is PERMADEATH.

  9. Moonracer says:

    I think I’ll just continue to imagine I’m in that world every time I see a mammoth or wight (sp?) in Skyrim.

  10. priestlyd says:

    I mean, in the spirit of the kinds of power struggles and conflicts that go on throughout the books, wouldn’t a re-skinned Crusader Kings II with persistent server shards more closely resemble Game of Thrones?

  11. S Jay says:

    F2P is like free sex – it is always more expensive.