Progress in the Trenches
Jan 12, 2006 10:21:00

Many of the soon to be released MMOs have made considerable progress or released new information over the past month. For those of you watching the future of MMOs, here is a summary.


The Chronicles of Spellborn is currently deep into its beta testing phase. It is encouraging to see a game scheduled for release six months from now that is already well into a beta phase. Most organizations have been skipping true beta testing and instead have been staging a pre-release (hype builder), but Spellborn is using the beta testing in the intended fashion, to test and tune during the final development stages. This shows great wisdom and confidence on the part of Khaeon Games. Unfortunately, there have been some NDA breaches which Khaeon is not pleased with. The next phase of beta is scheduled to start toward the beginning of April 2006, and will include a much larger number of players. At that time the NDA will be lifted.

Nine character classes have been revealed. The classes are divided into three categories: Warriors, Casters, and Rogues. The usual suspects such as tanks, nukers, sneakers, buffers, summoners, and brawlers are all present, but aside from a casual mention within the Oracle Disciple class description, healing appears to be sparse. This likely indicates a high level of class independence.

For all the info, check out the new Spellborn FAQ.

Spellborn Screen1


This gothic styled MMO, where player characters will almost certainly get chased down by vampires and werewolves on a regular basis, appears to be making strides toward determining a release date. An intriguing fiction storyline has been unfolding on the the website and the forums are active with players and devs alike where you can find plenty of detailed discussion regarding the game's design. Everything from character customization to solo play is discussed in considerable depth, and at this time, the player community can expect prompt feedback from the dev team on any serious questions posted. Of great interest is the first screen shot released from this system. This is one of the defining factors in determining if an upcoming release is "real" and "worthwhile", and in my opinion, the Granite Games developers and artists clearly know what they're doing. I'm already a little nervous about playing a MMORPG that scares the beejeezus out of me, and this screenshot reinforces that fear. I can't wait to get a look at this one. I applaud the design team for having the guts to make a creepy and dark MMORPG.

Dark Solstice

Curiously, Black Masque Games, Inc., has retreated almost entirely for the last 30 days. Alpha testing is apparently under way, but development difficulties have delayed the anticipated beta release. No other news of any sort is posted. I wish I had some. This game appears very close to completion and it would be a disappointment to see it crash so close to release, especially considering the unique nature of this game.

Age of Darkness

Speaking of crashing, I will cross this off my release list. Something doesn't look promising here. Very sad to see.

To be continued...

Submitted by Brent on Jan 12, 2006 10:21:00 CST (comments: 0)


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