Of Gods And Spaceships: New Skyforge Trailers

By Graham Smith on June 12th, 2014 at 1:00 pm.

If there was one winner at this year’s E3, it was fans of open worlds. The industry has become so efficient at creating beautiful places that there’s half a dozen games coming in the next year that I want to play in spite of their mechanics, not because of them. Skyforge is on the list. It’s an MMO likely to be a grind to play, but it’s set in the kind of techno-fantasy world that juts mountain palaces up against spaceships and sets it all under a vibrant blue sky. There’s a trailer introducing that world below, alongside another talking through some of the game’s combat and leveling mechanics.

The reason I’m less than hopeful as to the mechanical prospects of the game is because it’s made by the same people who produced Allods Online. That game had plenty of interest in it – craftable, co-operatively controllable space galleys, for example – but a quest structure that felt more like filling time than bold adventuring. There’s positive signs in the trailer above that they’ve learned lessons from the last five years of MMO design, like ditching restrictive class systems for something more flexible, but the more worrying thing is that, well, some people like grinding. There’s perhaps no reason for them to swap out a formula that people enjoy merely to satisfy me.

Although I’d recommend that they should.

It’s also worth noting that, like my.com’s Armored Warfare, the game is being made in partnership with Obsidian, those RPG devs better known for Fallout: New Vegas, Pillars of Eternity and so on. The exact nature of their involvement is not clear, but hopefully it goes further than just lending a little of their Western credibility and extends to some consulting, design or writing duties.

You can sign up for the Skyforge closed beta now, and who knows, maybe if you run really fast you can see the world and keep ahead of the game.

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24 Comments »

  1. Lars Westergren says:

    > but hopefully it goes further than just lending a little of their Western credibility and extends to some consulting, design or writing duties.

    For Skyforge, there a small team from Obsidian from what I understand, they’ve mainly helped out with art and animation, a little bit quest design and writing I think.

    Armored Warfare is a bigger in-house thing Obsidian have been working on for a year or two. They have hinted that though gameplay is front and center, it will have more three dimensional characters and writing than most online titles. There is some meta-plot and meaty backstory and politics involved, not just “here is a deathmatch arena, here are a bunch of tanks, micropayments button is over there, go wild”.

    This is from memory though. Maybe someone from Obsidian can give us the details, or C2B/Duraframe300 as he seems to know everything about Obs (no really, I think he/she spends their life hidden in a trash can in Obsidian’s office, spying on everyone and everything.)

    • Geebs says:

      Obsidian are providing the bugs and writing the excuses.

      • Lars Westergren says:

        DS3 and South Park were polished and pretty much bug free, time to retire that joke.

          • Lars Westergren says:

            Yes, really. No more buggy than any other game, much less buggy than their earlier titles. That is just confirmation bias.

          • Geebs says:

            But Stick of Truth, out Tuesday for 360, PS3, and PC, is a game marred by bugs and technical issues, and it is impossible to separate the art from the faulty product surrounding it.2P

            During the ten hours I spent playing Stick of Truth, I ran into dozens of glitches ranging from minor to major. Sometimes my main character would pop in and out of cut-scenes. Sometimes the music would randomly stop playing during boss fights. Once I loaded up an old save file and learned that my newer file—saved manually, not via an auto-save that might have been overwritten—had suddenly disappeared.P

            Worst of all, playing the game on Xbox 360 led to constant stuttering that made the whole game feel like one turbulent airplane ride. I wanted to take a Dramamine after playing.3P

            I captured some footage to show you what it’s like. Note the major stutters at 0:04, 0:11, etc., and the minor stutters throughout. That’s not YouTube. It’s the game.45P

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kY9T94…P

            Isolated these stutters aren’t so bad, but when they happen every few seconds, they become unbearable. I couldn’t walk anywhere in Stick of Truth without feeling like I was sitting through an earthquake. That’s on Xbox 360, with my game installed to the hard-drive, and the day-one patch installed. Your experience may vary, and some people might not even run into this stuttering—I asked a few other reviewers, and only one had run into the same problem—but for me this was a critical flaw.6P

            The PC version runs more smoothly, but has its own technical issues. Kotaku’s Kirk Hamilton couldn’t get through one mid-game cut-scene without his game crashing. He had to skip it. Other PC reviewers have also reported save glitches and other bugs, and one reviewer playing on PS3 told me he couldn’t load out of a boss battle. Playing Stick of Truth felt like walking through a china shop; I was constantly worried that something would break.7P

            You clearly don’t understand what confirmation bias is, because you gave your opinion as a counter to actual evidence. You might do better next time if you say it’s sunspots or something.

          • Artea says:

            Have you even played the game? Kotaku was literally the only outlet that came away with the game being a buggy mess. Well, there’s also the review on this site (which IMO was one of their worst reviews ever and an even better example of confirmation bias).

  2. xcession says:

    Anyone else find the use of a voiceover guy doing both the trailer _and_ player intro a bit jarring? I don’t need a list of features to be explained to me in an Epic Voice for me to appreciate them :P

    • Maxheadroom says:

      glad im not the only one.
      Something about Epic Voice Man makes me feel I’m now too old to be playing games (or at least too old for the target demographic for ‘this’ game)

      What we need is a softly spoken englishman taking about the features with a polite disinterest, that’ll I’ll be sold :)

  3. Tyrian says:

    I’m glad to see that job systems are becoming more common in MMOs, as it essentially lets me play all classes of the game without having to deal with the hassle of managing friend lists and securing character names for multiple alts.

  4. bv728 says:

    Allods mechanically was a really solid WoW-like, so I’m not so worried about the overall design. The uninspired quest design wasn’t a huge issue for me though, I’ll admit, as MMO questing pretty much never does much other than give me a reason to pilot my character between the enjoyable bits.

    It did have some terrible Free to Play bullshit that took YEARS to go away and still isn’t completely gone, and I say that as a big Free To Play booster. If they can monetize without the BS, I’ll be much happier.

  5. rusty5pork says:

    Hey look, it’s the Sphere Grid/Path of Exile’s passive tree.

    …that sounded complainey but I actually love systems like that. That part at least looks promising.

  6. Solidstate89 says:

    It’s an MMO

    Welp, so much for that excitement.

  7. Calculon says:

    Boo.

    1) Voice-over is terrible.
    2) I see no difference between this and any other MMO, just small tweaks to a very tired old formula
    3) Just no.

  8. Darth Gangrel says:

    “the more worrying thing is that, well, some people like grinding. There’s perhaps no reason for them to swap out a formula that people enjoy merely to satisfy me. Although I’d recommend that they should.” Oh, you’re one of THOSE people, Graham, complaining about people liking something that you don’t like. Heh, those people are a dime a dozen around these parts of the Internet. That’s okay, though, because we all have moments when we think “Why can’t more games cater to *my* personal preferences?”.

  9. Canisa says:

    The industry has become efficient at building beautiful open worlds, sure, but female characters? Those’re too much work!

  10. KirbyEvan says:

    This looks great, Allods Online was a lot of fun for what was essentially a F2P WoW clone, the airships were fun and the classes were interesting (Mentalist was a lot of fun).

  11. Megakoresh says:

    Theres evidence the devs realised what they did wrong in Allods. I played it. I know they can do a great game if they figure out what to do and not to do. I like what I have seen, signed up for beta. Let’s see what comes of it.