Star Vault have announced that their upcoming Mortal Online 2, a sequel to their first-person super sandbox MMO (that is somehow almost a decade old), will enter Steam Early Access in late 2020.
Mortal Online is fiddly but sometimes brilliant, as RPS survivor Brendan Caldwell related during his trouserless explorations. Its main draw is its level-free open world in which players raise skills by using them, craft everything, and try not to get robbed blind by someone taking advantage of its full PvP, looting, and theft. Sometimes people are nice, though.
Details, a trailer, and some secret thoughts from my brain wait below, ready to empty your pockets of hard-earned berries.
The bow and forest at the start look pretty shiny, but other than that and the big sucker brandishing two axes like an idiot, it's a very uninformative trailer. From what the devs have told us, it sounds like a fairly safe sequel with the same absence of levels, where players are free to wander, gather resources, talk and fight and trade as they like. They haven't specifically mentioned building, and I'd be rather surprised if there isn't any, but it's best not to take anything for granted. There will again be full, free PvP in which victors can take everything you own, this time in Unreal Engine 4, so at least the ganking jerkasses ought to look alright. Star Vault boast of a 400km² map too, so perhaps I'll be able to lurk in the woods somewhere, shunning all contact and going gradually mad.
The biggest change we know about is the reduction of MO's four character slots to just one, which they stress will be a more versatile one so players won't be locked into one playstyle. As a big fan of living in a game world instead of sidestepping into a different character, I'm very curious to see how that will go. Expanding on the crafting system is a priority too, as players will choose "the blade or head of the weapon, a handle type and what materials these two parts are made out of". They describe the resulting variety in craftable goods as "almost infinite", a mathematician-baiting phrase I fully endorse.
I've been on the lookout for a modern game like MO (or the even more ageing Wurm Online) for a while now, and between this and Gloria Victis it looks like it could be a good year for games cursing me with what I ask for.
Mortal Online 2 will enter "closed combat alpha" in mid-2020, followed by a period in Steam Early Access, with an estimated full release in late 2021. Twenty twenty-one. That's the kind of year we'll have to start looking at and saying now, isn't it? Lord.
For now, it can be added to your wishlist on Steam.