Saturday, January 24, 2009


I noticed Aspendawn talking about Alganon on Veni, Vidi, Bloggi, so I went and checked it out. This appears to be the new name for what was once called Crusade Online, by one of the original designers of Horizons. It seems to have some ambitious ideas; the primary goal of the game appears to be immersion.

Some of the ideas that it has that I am looking forward to:

It has a hybrid progression system that involves both skill-ups based on usage, but caps those skills based on real time that keeps hardcore players from gaining too much of an advantage over more time constrained players. I think real-time-based progression works well in Eve Online; it's probably a good feature for these games because it helps shift the focus from playing to level up to simply playing to play.

The game appears to also plan various "Domain Objectives," which give a shared goal to all players in a zone, whether they are grouped or not. If done properly, this could be a good community building feature.

The main thing I like about it is the promise that they will have customized quests. Some quests will be customized for your character so on multiple playthroughs you won't just be doing the same exact thing over and over again.

This game has been surprisingly under most people's radar. After all the exaggerated hype of the last batch of MMOs (Vanguard, Age of Conan, Warhammer Online), that's probably a good thing. Whether this game becomes a success or not, it seems they are trying several good, new ideas. This is one reason why I'm cautiously optimistic about 2009 MMOs. Even if we don't get a hit on our hands, we've got lots of games that are actually trying something new.

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