|Earthrise - MMORPG|
|Release date(s)||Q2 2010|
|Mode(s)||Multiplayer - Online, Offline|
|Input methods||Keyboard and Mouse|
Earthrise is a forthcoming science fiction massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) based in a post-apocalyptic setting. Announced on January 23, 2008, it is being developed by an independent Bulgarian-based team, Masthead Studios, which revealed the release date to be somewhere in second quarter of 2010.
The game is based on a clash involving two factions. One is the corporate government that controls every possible aspect of its citizens' lives. The other is Noir, a rebel group sworn to oust the authoritarian order. Among other features, a few of note are a skill-based advancement system, a player-driven economy and an emphasis on PvP.
Earthrise takes place on the island of Enterra, where the surviving population has built a new society: the city of Sal Vitas. It is ruled by a totalitarian government called Continoma that rewards citizens who abide by its strict laws. By exercising full control over the cloning process, Sal Vitas' government decides who will live and who will not. Insurgent forces have accused the city's rulers of crimes against humanity. Armed factions fight for resources and power within the new system. A rebellion has fomented and formed a shadow government: Noir.
At the end of the 21st century, the continuing exhaustion of Earth's resources sparked a furious struggle for dominance, ultimately leading to an all-out conflict. Billions perished as the Third World War raged across the globe.
As nations crumbled and civil society was in its death throes, a group of cooperative leaders and scientists began work on the "Continoma Project" - a massive, self-sufficient DNA database capable of storing the genetic information of every living thing on the Earth, including humans. Members of the Project considered themselves the world’s stewards, and began taking liberties within the database, removing the genetic code of the people responsible for the war's most heinous crimes against humanity. However, many of those war criminals exploited certain Project members' greed and bought their way into the project, guaranteeing themselves perpetual life.
Humanity outside the Continoma Project all but destroyed itself - the great societies that once warred between themselves were reduced to nomadic tribes and eventually mutated or died out, long before the irradiated world could become habitable again.
After a few hundred years passed, Continoma scientists started to clone the first wave of survivors, called the Pioneers. Faced with mutated man-eating plants and animals, as well as aggressive descendants from the last naturally-born humans, the Pioneers were only able to carve out a living on the island of Enterra. It was here that they founded Sal Vitas, City of Salvation, where the Continoma leaders formed a new government, an engineered social and political regime of utopian proportions that promised to erase the painful memory of the past.
During the first twenty years, the city's construction required a huge workforce. As more people were cloned, society divided in groups and factions, each with their own agenda and goals. Some of them revisited the darker side of the human nature, exploiting fellow citizens much the same as before the death of civilization. Continoma created a draconian police force to fight crime, which kept much of the citizenry safe but did little to eradicate the growing criminal underworld.
In the wake of Continoma's harsh reaction to the increase in crime, young intellectuals and students formed a loose organization originally intended to keep Continoma in check through civil action. It was not long until the informal organization took on a new role – armed resistance - and a new name: Noir.
The Noir resistance began with a massacre. Shortly after its conception, seven of Noir’s founding members were captured by the Continoma police force. Their DNA was pulled from the cloning database, sentencing them to a death humanity was no longer supposed to experience. The remaining six members were driven from the city. Luckily for Noir, a scientist within Continoma, a follower of the group's ideals, managed to save the founders' DNA and deliver it to those who fled Sal Vitas. The restored leadership began a guerrilla war against Continoma.
In the midst of the growing insurgency, a number of high-ranked bureaucrats within Continoma mounted a coup and seized control over the cloning technology. The new autocrats immediately began threatening Noir’s supporters within the populace with removal of their genetic code from the database.
Noir continued the fight, its numbers increased by the dictatorial new regime’s policies, but without cloning technology, defeat seemed certain. Only a counter-coup, led by Synthia Harvington, saved Noir. Harvington negotiated an agreement with Noir that exchanged cloning technology for their assistance in her counter-coup. When Harvington restored the government, Noir and Continoma found a temporary and uneasy peace.
Continoma and Noir continue to share the island of Enterra today. Continoma spreads its control across the island and boosts its industrial power by exploiting the island's natural resources. Noir exists in an underground network and works to disrupt the current regime’s plans. The ceasefire is already breaking.
Mutants still abound on the island, but most of them have gathered around and inside the Old City, the remains of a community that thrived before war. Intelligence reports on both sides of the political battle claim the mutants are growing … something … inside Old City's sewers. The zone is currently under quarantine until Continoma can make a better-informed decision about how to proceed, and Noir operatives are discouraged from entering the area.
The character progression in Earthrise is separated into Online and Offline progression.
Online progression is related with advancing all combat and crafting skills.
Offline gameplay is secondary to online, but it provides exciting small benefits and a simple life simulation that will encourage players to advance their science education, seek out new jobs and climb the social ladder. Players will have the opportunity to gather income and advance in a more social aspect of the game.
The number 100 indicates total skills, abilities and tactics available at launch. While many of them are combat oriented, a sizable amount will cover crafting and social aspects for each character. The three types of game elements – skills, abilities and tactics, are closely related to each other and will allow for numerous possibilities for customization of the character. Tactics are the key to customization – these meta-enhancements will be compatible with wide variety of abilities and will change their effects to suit player’s style of play. Players with similar skills may have a completely different style of fighting thanks to enhancing them with tactics.
The outcome of battle in Earthrise will rely more on the traditional RPG system, where avatar skills and equipment are important. However the combat will be more dynamic, resembling a third person shooter. The game will require a certain level of player skill in movement and targeting that is becoming increasingly popular trend in current wave of MMOs. Still, not every action will have the same requirements. Some actions will require proper targeting of the opponent, while others will require only having it in sight and then there will be actions that can be executed even if the player doesn’t have its target in sight but within range.
Players will have the opportunity to kill other
players(including from his faction) – but not without consequences.
Killing people of the same faction is one of the worst crime,
prosecuted by members of both Noir and Continoma. It will be very
difficult for someone to clear the damning effects of such a crime,
though not impossible, and his space of operation would be greatly
limited in the wild, less secure areas - where he himself would
taste his own medicine by being open target for other criminals.
Each player's criminal actions, once reported through the Continoma
SVS Network will affect the behavior of every guard the player
encounters. There will be cases when despite guard activity, the
actions do not get reported island-wide. For the most prosecuted
player killers that means that their life in a sizable portion of
the game world will be constant game of cat and mouse, and other
players will certainly benefit from joining in as there will be
rewards to take a criminal down. Stealth abilities will be almost a
requirement for survival. We won't force that sort of gameplay on
players and it would be easy to get on good terms with the
government. Player who has killed another player opponent would be
able to loot his possessions. There will be available equipment
protection, but its viability will vary based on character's
affiliation and actions in the game. Characters who play "against
the system" should learn to protect their gear well. There will be
some high security areas in Earthrise, where guards will attack on
sight everyone else who tries to attack another player. People, who
don’t want to engage in PvP will feel secure in these zones. At the
same time, the most dangerous parts of the island will feature free
for all PvP.
Another PvP aspect in Earthrise will be guild rivalries. Guilds will be able to declare war on each other and fight for power and resources. Such wars will be prohibited in the security zones, but will not be punished in the other territories. Guilds will be able to conquer their own part of the island, gaining access to resources and a territory where they can impose their rules. There will also be arenas and other types of PvP competitions with rewards. People who do not want to engage in PvP will not feel alienated in Earthrise. There will be certain areas in the game, where PvE skills will be more important than PvP. Quests, crafting and trade are other examples of the non-PvP gameplay in Earthrise.
Crafting in Earthrise is a complex process that is easy to understand but ultimately difficult to master. The basic rule of crafting is that every item is made of components and every item can be broken down to its composites. Some components are used for specific items, others are used in a wide array of items – for example, a hand gun grip can be used in the creation of various hand guns, while electronic chipsets can be used to create specific devices. Players often will break down items to their components in order to combine some of them with other components to produce new, different items. Crafting and salvaging requires specific skills, depending what item is created or salvaged down, and players will have access to dozens of skills, covering mechanics, electronics, engineering, construction and programming in several futuristic industries. Here is a quick and simple example – let’s have two hand guns, a simple “Kruger” and an advanced “Raider” with electronic aiming. Using his weapons engineering skill, a player can deconstruct “Kruger Hand Gun” down to “Hand Gun Grip” and “Kruger Mechanism”, and then combine the “Hand Gun Grip” with “Raider Mechanism” and “Raider Aiming Processor” to produce the electronics-assisted “Raider” hand gun. Often complex items will require several tiers of components construction before the player can create the final product, and each of those components will require different skills to craft. We want to make most complex and powerful items in the game a serious crafting investment, often requiring two or more crafters or varying skills and expertise to work together in order to tailor each element of the final item. That is not to say that Earthrise favors custom-crafting of individual items only – majority of items will be rather simple to mass produce given components are available and will provide everyone with the means to join the conflict between Continoma or Noir, or carve their own name in the history of Enterra.
Transformation of one type of item to another - either through crafting or salvaging - has damaging effect on the used resources and the final item will always have lowered quality value compared to the input components, depending on player's crafting skill. This renders impossible the infinite transformation of items - even for a true expert, constant crafting and salvaging of the same item will make the resources useless and any item made of them prone to quick damage and lessened effect. This is when items will "break" completely - when they cannot be any more repaired, or effectively salvaged to craft a new useful item.
The island of Enterra is a small landmass that survived the brunt of the horrible cataclysms that left the rest of the planet uninhabitable, though its local flora and fauna have become severely deformed and mutated. However, the precious natural resources on the island remain easily available for extraction and exploitation, which allowed the island to become a suitable home for nascent human society.
After leaving the Protogenetic Asylum, those elected for the restoration of humanity founded the prosperous city of Sal Vitas. As a second chance for humankind to reclaim what was lost, the new society aimed to shake off its earlier mistakes and prevent such in the future. Careful planning of actions and their effect was the primary concern of a leadership that strived for enlightenment.
Sal Vitas promises a society void of corruption or crime existing without wars, famine or poverty. Every hard-working citizen is given access to all benefits, including private protection and full property insurance, a clean and healthy environment to live and develop, and most of all personal achievements fairly evaluated. And while all residents work for themselves, they do so to provide common welfare to all. This is seen as the only way for the society to strengthen its bonds, and resist any risk and harmful influence that could undermine the structure of the city. Humans have learned their lesson, or so it seems.
The pride of Sal Vitas is its monolithic architecture. Considered a work of art, the image of the megalopolis is composed of imposing skyscrapers emerging out of a futuristic dream. Built with imagination and style, Sal Vitas stands as a monument of modernism, where glass and concrete meet with lush green parks. Gliders whiz silently among the pedestrians on sterile streets. With culture and fashion now uniform, all citizens resemble each other in both clothing and manners.
A series of ruined residential, industrial and administrative complexes, Old Town was once home to a thriving community of the pre-Purification age. Oblivious to the impending cataclysm, the people of Old Town were unaware of the construction of the secret Protogenetic Asylum, which at the time was disguised simply as "standard mining operations."
During the catastrophic events of the Third World War, many people tried to reach Old Town for sanctuary. The residents turned them away, keeping the already scarce resources for themselves. Not every group of refugees was willing to give up so easily, and they attacked Old Town. Ruined shells of primitive bunkers and defensive obstacles are all that remain to mark the effort to keep the now demolished city.
Thousands of inhabitants died in the conflicts. The descendants of the survivors gradually mutated, developing new traits that ensured their adaptation to the new environment, however corrupting their human nature in the process. All technological knowledge was lost to more primal needs.
Old Town is one of Continoma's sore spots, but the corporation and the Tribunal have designed a solution. They've developed a plan to solve the problem in two stages: restriction and annihilation. The first stage has already been set into motion. The Old City is now fenced off to prevent the spread of a virulent mutant infection, but aggressive groups of mutants have already breached the perimeter at several points, where violent battles are common. The second stage will be a total demolition of Old Town and the complete extermination of its inhabitants.