Gloria Victis Is A Highly Ambitious Low Fantasy MMO

By Nathan Grayson on July 9th, 2013 at 11:00 am.

I want to run inside and get out of this rain, but my armor has rusted to the point of immobility. Send help.

Gloria Victis is an MMO that initially reminded me a bit of The Witcher, and then I read that some of its developers helped make The Witcher. “Ooooooooh,” I replied eloquently. The general vibe, especially, gives me flashbacks to Geralt’s particular brand of gallivanting (or Geraltivanting for short), with a fantasy setting where everything… well, it just sucks. No knights in shining armor, no one-man-army mega heroes, no mighty spells or gear sets that look like they emerged from the great costume glitter explosion of 1927. That’s certainly not a bad thing, though. I mean, there’s a reason “realistic” fantasy is all the rage right now. It’s a focus that bleeds into the game’s skill-based combat as well, with things like weather conditions even coming into play. Sounds like quite the thing, huh? Check out some gameplay footage after the break.

Here’s a quick rundown, courtesy of developer Black Eye Games:

“The world of Middle Ages, in which magic is not a common tool but rather serves as elite force – its concept is based on the real world rites and beliefs of those times. Dedicated no-target system featuring virtual replicas of weapons in close combat, projectile and mounted fight.”

“You are a pivot in the middle of the conflict between the descendants of the world’s first makers. You can take one of the sides, join a guild, family or order and in their name retake sacred grounds that other families are trying to claim. You can join with your friends and follow the trail of missing artifacts surrounded by legends. You can delve into the mysteries of unnerving events, learn the history and take possession of the wisdom and glory it holds.”

The combat looks quite a bit like War of the Roses, which is a-okay in my book because moment-to-moment swordicuffs were the only good thing about War of the Roses. I’m also quite fond of what the developers are saying about sandbox-y world, class, and guild development – things most fantasy MMOs heavily tone down in favor of relentless simplicity.

Basically, Gloria Victis looks like some of history’s less glamorous realities sprinkled with The Witcher’s fantastical flavor. I do have some concerns (it’s not entirely sandbox-y, with a quest system that apparently relies on “moral choices”; combat looks like it needs a lot of fine-tuning), and of course this all sounds remarkably ambitious for a relatively small team. Then again, they cite experience on games like The Witcher and Neverwinter Nights, so hopefully they have better sense than to dive headfirst into something that’s way over their heads.

The game’s currently pre-alpha, but you can apparently join in by simply shooting an email over to Black Eye. Will you? Do you dare?

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58 Comments »

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  1. GloriaVictis says:

    Hello!

    We have received many enquiries regarding how to enter the Pre-Alpha. There are two methods in which you can gain a Pre-Alpha invitation. Every month we do a giveaway on our Facebook Page for Pre-Alpha invitations, in fact there is one currently underway (https://www.facebook.com/pages/Gloria-Victis/352162408142252)
    There are also those that have donated towards the development of our project, and as developers we feel an ethical obligation on our part to show those that donate what they have donated towards and therefore extend Pre-Alpha invitations to. Including players in the development process is a key principle of development (Hence our maxim of creating a game: By Gamers, With Gamers and For Gamers), we include players in our decision making process and especially for those that donate as we believe they have a stake in our project as much as we do which is the second reason which we invite those that donate to the Pre-Alpha, so they can test the game and offer us firsthand feedback from their experience.

    Donators will also have an official vote on game mechanics and concepts on the forums as well as access to an exclusive area on forum to discuss with fellow testers and the development team regarding the developmental direction of the game. The current threshold for a Pre-Alpha invitation is $10, but every dollar counts, so if you wish to back an indie project seeking to break paradigms, then support us!

    If you wish to make a monetary contribution, we accept paypal donations, simply make it out to info@gloriavictisgame.com

    Gloria Victis – By Gamers, With Gamers, FOR Gamers.

    • Njordsk says:

      I hope you’ll put squirels or walrus in your game.

      • GloriaVictis says:

        Our first zone has a forest, it currently has foxes, boars, sows currently but we will be adding more forest inhabitants such as squirrels and deer!

        There is a northern part of the map which resembles the nordic circle in modern europe so the associated wildlife will also be present in GV ;)

        • Canisa says:

          I don’t suppose there’s any chance of female PCs? There doesn’t seem to be any mention of them anywhere and the word ‘realistic’ has alarm bells ringing for me.

          • GameCat says:

            I do not think that in medieval feudal system women played any significant role other than beign married to someone for political reasons, sorry.

          • Malawi Frontier Guard says:

            You’ll have to make do with squirrels and deer.

          • Shieldmaiden says:

            If they were making a strictly historical game, there might, maybe, just could be an argument for not having female PCs. As they’re making a medieval fantasy game, albeit more realistic than most, the only reason not to have female PCs would be blatant misogyny. Heck, even War of the Roses managed to have female faces, which worked quite well as most people look the same once they’ve got an arming doublet, chain and plate on.

          • Askeladd says:

            I’d call her Brienne and she’d be bigger than most man, always wearing plate armor.

          • fish99 says:

            “Shieldmaiden says:

            If they were making a strictly historical game, there might, maybe, just could be an argument for not having female PCs. As they’re making a medieval fantasy game, albeit more realistic than most, the only reason not to have female PCs would be blatant misogyny.”

            Only if you take everything that happens in the world personally. I can think of other reasons – like budget constraints, plain thoughtlessness, or maybe they’re aiming for a specific demographic (a large majority of gamers are guys after all). And the fact that the game is fantasy does not mean they can’t incorporate elements of real world society, specific to a particular historical period, into the game, should they choose to. It’s their work of art, their creation, they can set the world up however they choose, and explore whatever ideas they want to explore. To assume they’ve done it because they hate women is frankly bizarre and more than a little paranoid.

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            Harlander says:

            Armchair psychoanalysis and motive speculation aside, you’ve got to admit that it’d be a bit ropey.

          • Kent says:

            I just wanted to say that women did take part in military campaigns as mercenaries, and mercenary companies was incredibly important and lucrative during the middle ages (where do you think the word Freelance came from?).

          • Canisa says:

            Think of it like this:

            You are a peasant woman. You are dirt poor and often hungry. Then along comes this wealthy noble who is looking for soldiers. Any recruits that sign up will be fed by the army’s quartermaster and paid fairly well by the noble.

            Do you: A) Allow yourself to starve because it is not your Social Place to fight?

            Or: B) Sign up?

            And on the other side of this question:

            You are a noble. Involved in a dispute with another noble you set about raising an army to go to war. Five thousand soldiers show up.

            Do you: A) Send two and a half thousand of them home because it is not their Social Place to fight?

            Or: B) March off to war with five thousand soldiers at your back?

        • GloriaVictis says:

          There will be female character choices later in development

        • Rindan says:

          I’ll only play if those squirrels attack rabidly and I can swing my sword impotently through them.

  2. Choca says:

    Looks promising.

  3. Didden says:

    Utinam bene illis

  4. pitchman says:

    >”relalistic” fantasy
    >first scene is a guy fighting a skellington

    How about no.

    • GloriaVictis says:

      The Skeleton is our “Crash Test Dummy” which we use to test for bugs in weapons and such ;)
      Other creatures are based after Slavic Folklore and Mythology

      • Njordsk says:

        You really shouldn’t read the comment sections, you might end up crazy or something brain related.

        • GloriaVictis says:

          Hehe, Thanks for your concern :)
          I enjoy answering and interacting directly with players

        • Jazzyboy says:

          They’re making an MMO. I’m sure they’re fully prepared for 10 year old trolls ;)

          • LennyLeonardo says:

            But… I’m pretty sure there aren’t any trolls in Slavic folk….. oh. Ok, nevs.

      • LennyLeonardo says:

        “Slavic Folklore and Mythology”. YES PLEASE.

    • Ultra Superior says:

      A glorious victory for gamers.

      BTW: why u no wanna crowfund? I’d back this. Don’t have no paypal though.

      • GloriaVictis says:

        We are, we just wish to develop the game more to have more to show for it rather than ask for player’s money with empty concept ideas and promises. We are gamers too, deciding to create this game when we could not find a non asian fireworks games to play and therefore we govern ourselves and our actions with the utmost responsibility and ethics :)

        • gi_ty says:

          This is incredibly promising, combined with your attitude and style I will gladly chip in! This looks great and I love the ideas behind it.

  5. BobsLawnService says:

    I wonder if the developers are drawing their inspiration from Darklands?

    A developer could learn a lot about creating a low fantasy gameworld from it.

  6. DonDrapersAcidTrip says:

    Every time an MMO game sounds really interesting in concept I just want to know if in practice is it actually an online world like Ultima Online or is it just a single player game with a bunch of zeroes added onto the end of the numbers to pad the length out that you pay to play for the privilege of there being a bunch of other people around you doing the exact same menial tasks that you never talk to or interact with in any meaningful way like WoW.

    It just irritates me how the MMO genre is one of the biggest wastes and disappointments in games. It’d be like if literally every game that took place in the first person was a world war 2 linear cinematic shooter, with only the thompson sub machine gun for your weapon and an identical user interface with the same fonts and hans zimmerish blah-hurrah score for every game.

    • Ostymandias says:

      but they are

    • Rindan says:

      I weep that in the early MMO skirmishes that Everquest and WoW won over Ultimate Online. UO was something special. It was a living world. It has been what, over a decade and UO is the most advanced “world” fantasy game still? The fantasy MMOs need to go jump in a fire and die until they find an ounce of game mechanic originality.

      I want an interesting open world with player interaction, not a bunch of monster fighting zones. I suppose hell is going to have to freeze over before someone tries to do what UO did over a decade ago.

  7. Shodex says:

    Since it seems one of the devs is answering questions, I’ll make my stab at it. How will the game be structured? On first glance it’s nothing like WoW/EQ and other modern “traditional” MMOs, but throughout the video it’s clear that the similarities are there (I’m not trying to insult by saying this, WoW’s UI and setup is near perfect).

    I’d like to know if the game at it’s core is also like WoW. As in you get quests, complete them, get more, etc. Or will it attempt to be more of an open, player run, virtual world? Similar to Ultima Online. Where player run bands of highwaymen mug unsuspecting travelers on the roads, and valiant players hunt them down in the name of justice. I can’t speak on a first hand experience, but I would imagine that when you saw somebody headed towards you down the road in medieval times it was a tense and terrifying experience, “Is he friendly? Will he try to mug me? Kill me?” Without open-PVP that experience is gone, and if anyone has played an open-PVP MMO they can vouch for how cool of a feeling that can be.

    TL;DR will it be like Ultima Online, can I murder other players in cold blood?

    • GloriaVictis says:

      Hi,
      The best bet is to ask on our Facebook page to get a direct response when I am online ;)

      Basically, the game is HEAVY on roleplay you can advance the storyline by completing the lore line of quests as well as develop your toon as a character by doing non linear quests which are based on your actions you have comitted in the past. The ultimate underlying story is the conflict between the two main religions in the game.

      In terms of the “core” WoW’s quests advance the story and the core of WoW is gear / level progression. However in Gloria Victis a more suitable core description is the development of your character, developing him in terms of personality (actions + non linear questline) reputation as a fighter, and social status.

      Basically the “core” I guess is to advance socially in the medieval society, where the humble peasant can achieve honour and glory. Taking a part in politics (Player input in politics of nations one of our stretch goals), so in terms of this, advancing in combat prowess, building political connections with aristocratic NPCs and taking part in realm vs realm wars for the good of the nation would be the “core”.

      As for open PvP
      Technically in real life, can you kill anyone in any place? But would you? You would suffer sever repercussions, although not set, we are working with our fans and players on deciding a system in a joint decision. We currently favour the above scenario, you can, but you wouldnt and since Gloria Victis has day night / weather / season cycles murdering in cold blood would then likely operate on an out of sight out of mind issue, the murder of people can then be randomly generated into quests for players to sleuth who committed the deed.

      When a village / town / castle / city / capital is sieged however, due to the nature of sieges the rule of law breaks down and the area becomes complete open PvP, less than honourable players can take the opportunity to commit crime, every citizen must go to the wars to fend off the attackers.

      TL:DR PvP will be EPIC

      • Jumwa says:

        Bah. Every amazing sounding MMO that hits all the right spots with me ends up turning me off with things like forced PvP or permadeath.

        Don’t get me wrong, I understand that it has its appeal for many, but for me, being a busy fellow who likes to game to unwind after my work-filled day, the prospect of being ganked by some random troll of a player — no matter how slim that chance might be — sounds stressful and unpleasant.

        Running a business and waiting for the hammer to drop at any moment financially is all the looming doom I can take in my life!

        • Minttunator says:

          Looks great. I hope you guys don’t back down from having at least the possibility for meaningful PVP – it’s absolutely essential for this kind of game (my personal opinion, of course).

        • Rindan says:

          Yeah, seriously. All of the MMOs are like “we have permadeath!” and I am like OMG not another one…



          …seriously?

          I would kill for a good open world permadeath MMO that looks something like an updated UO in terms of mechanics. It doesn’t exist. We live in a world of endless Everquest/WoW clones.

      • Wurstwaffel says:

        I think my problem with “PVP” in MMOs is, that it’s not some fantasy bandit ganking you, but a real person, some fucked up sociopath who gets off on bullying defenseless people. In real life you wouldn’t go “well I just lost the game I guess” if you got assaulted on the street.

        I think the thing with the quests to hunt down murderers is a neat idea, but I can’t imagine determined gankers being deterred by that at all.

        • Shodex says:

          In UO the roads were dangerous, as they would have been in that time. If you were going out you left all your valuables at home, or you brought protection. But in the city the possibility of being attacked was much less (though not zero), as in town the guards can be called and players can gang up on the assailant. Attacking a known killer was completely legal, in fact for do-gooders and paladins it was encouraged as it gave karma. When you were murdered, you could report the killer’s crime. When marked as a murderer, NPCs would no longer service you, healers wouldn’t resurrect you, and obviously players wouldn’t trust you. This was enough of a deterrent for people to not take to killing, as the only way to do it was to be really damn good at it. When becoming a criminal (be it thief, or murderer) the rest of the game sort of bars itself off to you, and a whole new more challenging experience opens up. In towns you would sometimes see “red” players (flagged murderers and bandits) moving nonchalantly through the crowds of regular players. You couldn’t help but feel fear and an odd sort of respect for the guy who was so damn good at what he does, he had no worry of the entire city or it’s guards attacking him. Many open-PVP games are bloodbaths of random unwarranted combat, but UO wasn’t. It was too hard to effectively be a bandit and required total dedication.

          Another game that handled open-PVP well, was Face of Mankind. A player run game where multiple factions teeter on the brink of war. Getting mugged on the streets was common, as was getting orders from your commanding officers (other players) to raid groups of enemies. But one wrong move, one shot, could start a war between factions. And wars were tough, being constantly hunted and constantly hunting made the game challenging. So much so that I’ve been posted as a door guard for a meeting between player politicians, protecting a meeting that would hopefully bring peace. The other factions liked us slowly chipping a way at each other, and an assassination attempt was made on the enemy leader by a guy dressed in our uniform. We then had to keep watch over a protest (of players), by just standing with our guns out and looking menacing. It became a full blown riot when somebody threw a grenade. It was a hectic, and exciting experience that couldn’t be found in a quest based MMO.

          The point of this rant was just to try and make you see the light on how open-PVP in MMOs can being some very interesting, challenging, and rewarding gameplay without being directionless bloodbaths. It can easily be done wrong, but it can also be done oh so right.

          • gi_ty says:

            Did you ever try darkfall? It is as close as I can imagine UO would have been in its prime. Alas it had horrid graphics clunky animations and GRINDDD, before you could do anything fun. Even still it was an enjoyable experience for me because the risk/reward is what motivated me.

      • iridescence says:

        “Technically in real life, can you kill anyone in any place? But would you? You would suffer sever repercussions, although not set, we are working with our fans and players on deciding a system in a joint decision.”

        The problem with applying this logic to MMOs is it’s impossible to even come close to the amount of punishment that deters real life murder in an online game. Still, I wish you luck. It looks like a fascinating game I hope it doesn’t turn into a stupid gankfest the way most PVP MMOs do.

        • Jumwa says:

          Not just punishment, but morality.

          Killing a human being is extremely immoral, and would undoubtedly carry a moral burden for all but the most psychotic of human beings.

          “Killing” an avatar in a video game carries, at most, the guilt of knowing you spoiled the time of someone else in a video game. But since the fact you’re playing across great distances through a video game mitigates that feeling of empathy away for many people, it carries no moral burden whatsoever.

          So yeah, the two seem hardly comparable from where I’m sitting.

          • Shodex says:

            Does this mean we should give up on it entirely? Couldn’t your logic be applied to anything?
            Would actually taking a small girl through a violent and fucked up world filled with zombies be much more emotional than just playing The Walking Dead? Yes. Does this make the game not worth playing? No.

            Games exist to emulate reality, as well as fantasy. With current technology there is no way to 100% replicate a real life event within a game world, with all it’s emotional weight. It’s the job of the game to try it’s best to work around it’s limitations. In 1997, open-PVP in an MMO was done nearly perfectly. 16 years later I have no doubts that it can be done even better.

      • GloriaVictis says:

        Within towns etc most likely will be a safe zone its just the wilderness *could* and I repeat could be open PvP, definitely measure in place to prevent it being players ganking new players / gank fests

  8. frightlever says:

    So, unofficial Game of Thrones MMO.

  9. Wurstwaffel says:

    Looks decent. To be honest though, if this were a single player game i’d be much more interested.

    • Wedge says:

      Yeah I have no idea why this is an MMO. The top screenshot looked like Dark Souls to me, and then I watched the video and saw a bunch of unreactive combat with numbers going down and had a sad.

  10. Keyrock says:

    Let’s hope this game turns out good and doesn’t give the industry a black eye.

  11. evenflowjimbo says:

    Any healers?

    • GloriaVictis says:

      Cant heal during battle, no magic in GV
      But we have a herbalist profession that can make medicinal herbs to aid recovery

  12. Lagwolf says:

    I hope it has been combat than The Witcher. I tried the first one a few days ago & stopped because the combat is so utterly horrible.

    • krisk7 says:

      Combta in TW1 was rhythm based and not particularly responsive. In TW2 they totally changed it and it’s great. In TW3 they are adding even more responsiveness thanks to around 100 different animations.

  13. Oneah says:

    Honestly.. there was a time i would get really hyped about a project like this… but I’ve just seen way too many games trying to be something and then just never even reaching close to what they set out to be.
    It’s not even because developers give up.. you just reach a realization point where the game you want to make requires a big money investment.
    Seriously… the day somebody makes a triple AAA game budget for something like this, it will be the most amazing thing ever.

  14. Jazzyboy says:

    This sounds great, especially so if they have experience with Neverwinter Nights.

    I just hope there will be emotes for proper roleplaying, NWN2 PW style.

    I also sincerely hope that there will be Dungeon Master(or the equivelant)-led events at least occasionally such as random battles occuring in the middle of a city.

  15. LordDamien says:

    I will only play this if you bring me a shrubbery that is nice but not too expensive. Also you might have to cut a tree with a herring.

    I hope you find these requirements just and fair.