Hemorrhage: World Of Darkness Screens And Details Leak

By Alice O'Connor on April 30th, 2014 at 6:00 pm.

'Press E to Seduce' indeed

As sorry as I was to hear this month that CCP has cancelled its World of Darkness MMO, when a developer says that a game just isn’t working out, I tend to believe them. Testers have started to leak little bits of World of Darkness, several sets of screenshots and a supposed playtest manual, and, well, it does look ropey.

The playtest manual is from March so, assuming it’s real, the decision to cancel really was recent. It was clearly still early days for the game, incomplete and bugged, but many of its ideas seem settled.

The manual explains a fair number of these. It teaches about ‘Paths of Enlightenment’ which seem to be analogous to traditional MMORPG classes and roles (rather than morality codes, as in the tabletop RPG), and how to gain ‘Essences’ which boost these by tracking and feeding from certain types of mortal. We learn about turning NPCs into ghouls to have them complete missions, and jockeying for control of the hunting grounds which let players benefit from others’ missions. It tells us about how XP gain would’ve been a bit EVE-y, offering a certain amount per day if players have enough blood to buy them, and saving any missed points from past days in case they have a windfall of vitae.

Hunting for the right type of essence

And skill trees, and guild-like Broods, and so on, and so on. Do give it a good read if you’re curious about how it would have been. Ultimately, what’s shown and explained doesn’t look very World of Darkness-y. An instruction manual and a smattering of screenshots will never paint a full picture, but it doesn’t seem especially mysterious or sexy or exciting, just a bit… so-so. A bit too MMORPG-y. A bit too “Press E to Seduce.”

“We dreamed of a game that would transport you completely into the sweeping fantasy of World of Darkness, but had to admit that our efforts were falling regretfully short,” CCP CEO Hilmar Veigar Pétursson said in announcing the cancellation. Seems true. A shame.

Placeholder paganism

(In the interest of attribution, some of these screens come via Reddit but I lose the trail to the source once it goes into Russian fan forums.)

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47 Comments »

  1. Lexx87 says:

    Oh what i’d have given for a ‘Press E to seduce’ button 5 years ago.

  2. Lars Westergren says:

    Look deep into my unsettling purply eyes CCP. Now give the game rights to Obsidian so they can make a single player RPG. Dooo iiiit!

    • The Ultimate Clone of The Ultimate Warrior says:

      Yes please! Give it to Obsidian. Have Chris Avillone write it and they will have all the sparkles!

    • InternetBatman says:

      It’s worth pointing out that Mitsoda is long gone from Obsidian. That said, I deeply want Obsidian to make a dark urban fantasy game. Preferably their own setting, that way it can’t be taken away by publisher shenanigans.

    • Darth Gangrel says:

      Yes, what better choice of developers for a World of Darkness game, than the company whose name is taken from a black volcanic glass. Black and darkness goes together like Obsidian and RPG’s.

      • Emeraude says:

        Not to mention the name of the new “company” dealing with the publishing of WoD books (among others), is called Onyx Path Publishing. Would make for a nice thematic fit.

  3. Alexander says:

    Whatever, I hope the “geniuses” at CCP give the universe to Obsidian.

  4. Henson says:

    Looking at these screens reminds me just how much I’d like another World of Darkness game. (Single player!)

  5. Blackcompany says:

    Third person in support of the ‘give Obsidian a crack at it’ position.

  6. Bent Wooden Spoon says:

    “It teaches about ‘Paths of Enlightenment’ which seem to be analogous to traditional MMORPG classes and roles (rather than morality codes, as in the tabletop RPG)”

    Can’t help but think that this is where they began throwing money down a pit. Taking care of the bit in parentheses might be substantially trickier, but not only would it have carved them a mechanical niche for the virtual bods, it’d have bee more impactful in getting any tabletop converts to stick around.

    That said, any post-mortem of this is going to be based on ignorant assumption and is consequently pointless.

    Edit: Yet another on the Obsidian train though.

  7. Ghoulie says:

    I’m personally still hoping for a single-player game in the WoD universe. Preferably from Obsidian.

  8. Kaeoschassis says:

    Blah blah blah Obsidian. Basically what everyone else said.

  9. Stardreamer says:

    You know who’d do a great job with this? Obsidian! Right up their alley.

  10. Nenjin says:

    It was probably for the best. Renaming half of the core game mechanics and trying to cram them into an MMO format probably wasn’t going to please very many people.

  11. heretic says:

    single player, Obsidian – thanks! :D

  12. Dave Tosser says:

    Ah. That would be the famous “poetic” user interface. Not sure what poetry I’m reminded of exactly, but it’s definitely some poetry. Yep. Buttons. Poetic.

    The round interface elements represent the cycle of existence, the brutality of nature and the inevitability of suffering. The use of a simple circle over an ouroboros shows that, in the context of natural evil, the participants are faceless and undefined. It is not a snake that bites its tale, but a representation of pure violence.

  13. evileeyore says:

    To everyone clamoring for Obsidian to do it… Remember Skyrim’s two main quest lines? Now think about that shit in WoD.

    Yeah… I want Looking Glass Studios back. *sob*

  14. The Random One says:

    A “poetic” user interface, you say?

    Because I could not stop to search
    I blindly spammed the Use key.
    A tooltip appeared over every container
    It was bound by default to E.

  15. Stardreamer says:

    It was fun for a time, the game of “nominate Obsidian”, but then serious people arrived and it did turn to buttslops. And Lo, it did swing, sweet harriet.

  16. revan says:

    Like everyone else: Obsidian, single player and two dozen patches to spice things up – this is Obsidian we are talking about, patch is a necessary ingredient. End of transmission.

  17. Lenderz says:

    I respect CCP and a few years ago quit EVE after a number of years high end play.

    I always thought the whitewolf merger was an odd one but hoped that CCPs ambition would make something special, I’m sorry to see it end really. I was originally introduced to world of darkness but vampire the maskerade and I loved it. I wanted to play the pen and paper but never got around to it.

    Reading the CCP document attached in the article it really seems they didn’t know how to make the game fun, and it appears to be a normal MMO without anything special from WOD. It really appears to be missing any fun factor. Could have been great, and sadly looks like it was massively mishandled.

    Really hope CCP get some of their investment back licensing the IP out to a competent Dev (obsidian).

  18. vecordae says:

    Absolutely not in favor of giving this to Obsidian. I think they do a fine job with writing and creating interesting plots, but cannot seem to get around to properly finishing what they started code-wise. Give it to CD Projekt RED, maybe with the first draft of the script handled by Avellone & Co.

  19. OlliX says:

    I have a very original and clever idea: Let Obsidian make it, and not as an MMO.

    • Iskariot says:

      As long as we can make a wish:
      I’d rather have Troika reassembled and have them make a Bloodlines 2. This time with a big budget and supported by Rockstar to create a vampire game in the open worlds of Liberty City and Los Santos.
      I’d sell my soul for that if I had one.

  20. Tssha says:

    Here’s an idea. Give it to EA.

    *cough* Er, I mean Obsidian. Yeah. *cough*

  21. jseph1234 says:

    This writer is not a fan of World of Darkness so I could care less when he says “A bit too MMORPG-y” He doesn’t realize the World of Darkness Community UTTER FRUSTRATION with waiting on this game.

    After looking at these Screenshots and the trailer YET AGAIN… and comparing it to my FOURTH replay of Vampire the Masquerade: Bloodlines that this game NEEDS TO BE RELEASED!!!

    Whether Single Player or MMORPG”

    1. The Artwork is MAGNIFICENT That alone (along with the underlying code) could be the basis of a new Vampire the Masquerade
    2. The jumping from and to buildings looks AMAZING and wow a great experience this would be in the World of Darkness
    3. Finally, The YEARS devoted and poured into this project call for its release to the world

    “Using the discipline DOMINATE he says..” Sign this petition and BRING IT TO LIFE!!
    https://www.change.org/en-AU/petitions/ccp-games-corporate-reinstate-development-of-world-of-darkness-online-mmorpg-and-devote-the-same-level-of-resources-funding-and-priority-to-it-as-you-do-eve-online

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