World Of Darkness: Grand Masquerade Info And Commentary

CCP Games released more information about the WoD MMO this last weekend at White Wolf’s Grand Masquerade in Louisiana. The reports are sparse, and the best summary I’ve come up with is one at WoD News (the go-to website for WoD news at this time.) Here is the bullet list of points with comments.

  • The producers stated their philosophy in making this MMO was “human interaction”. They feel that is limited in the current crop of MMO’s and their biggest weakness.
  • There are reasons why the current crop of MMO’s are the way they are (solo-friendly)–the devs have responded to player demand for that content. The other players in the game are both the biggest asset and PITA in an MMO. One can hope that WoD releases with truly brilliant tools to hook players into this web of social focus, or they might as well open their office windows right now and toss out millions of troglodyte dollars.

    I don’t mean to insult the troglodyte society–I’m a member, or more accurately an RP’er and an immersion player. I don’t enjoy Ventrilo or Teamspeak. An overwhelming and unprecedented social focus in an MMO could be at the same time heaven or hell, at many levels.

  • They are trying to emulate the feel of LARPing more then EVE or any other game system with this MMO
  • There will be a general CCP run metaplot that develops over time but the main metaplots will be left for the players to drive forward.
  • Next year (2012) is when more specific info and details will come out
  • Incarna is actually considered a prototype, the rendering engine that will ship with the MMO will be much more advanced.
  • This is an interesting topic. Last year we saw a beautiful video of CCP using NVidia APEX PhysX to render clothes and hair. We then saw the same stuff in action in Mafia 2 (great game).

    Look at the notes on that page: Well, this game was clearly made in cooperation (read: money) with NVidia, so AMD cards won’t perform very well. If you’re looking into a new video card, based on this info you might want to consider NVidia even more than you would normally. This is a big topic that I could spend hours looking at, but my time is limited, so that’s it.

  • Everyone starts as a mortal, becoming kindred in optional and can not be forced on you. You can play the entire game as a mortal only.
  • This could be amazing. Here is hoping that vampire hunters can be just as bad-ass as vampires with their stake guns, holy water, and sunlight cartridges.

  • There will be final death for both mortals and kindred.
  • We clearly need more clarification on how this will play out.

  • PvP will be more limited in some ways, yet more open in others then any other current MMO.
  • There will be cities (plural) and communication between them (the various kindred and clans) will be encouraged/possible.
  • Caitiff will NOT be in on release. They discussed it internally and couldn’t find a way to make them work in a way they liked.
  • Casual players will find the game accessible but hard core players will have a much deeper experience and more rewards/benefits.
  • Considering some kind of web site access interface for the MMO
  • NO day/night cycle, only night.
  • Humanity is a stat is game and one use is to address griefers. The more you cause issues for other players, break the masq, etc the more you can loose humanity and once it gets too low other players (and NPCs?) can attack you (implied even if you flag yourself non-pvp).
  • Griefers will suffer both in game and if serious enough out of game penalties (ie account banning)
  • Helps to make friends and not enemies in game as you can not get to the top of the food chain without networking and having friends to assist you.
  • Image failed to load.

  • Players will have havens.
  • I am trying to contrast this imaginary “haven” with having your own starship in SWTOR. This is a bit of a struggle. A coffin. Awesome atmospheric background music. A fridge and some posters. A couple nude-to-the-waist ghouls draped over your red velvet sofas, maybe? Ok, now we’re getting closer to something I can sink my teeth into, moreso than the droid at the console. Surely outfits in WoD will beat SWTOR with a stick, unless you’re into jetpacks. The only question is how much CCP will gouge players for the burgundy corset with matching stilettos (see the great Eve monocle debacle).

  • Players can climb the ladder and get to Prince levels of power and run a city
  • Can get to Prince level power without killing a single thing, all done via networking, politics and friendships
  • ONLY kindred on release of game, no were’s, mages, etc. However those other supernaturals may be used in a NPC fashion or/and their lore appear in game.
  • MMO character sheet very similar to the V:tM PnP character sheet.
  • Character names over the avatars head by default turned off, but can turn them on.
  • Game world/environment will change over time; real in game consequences for player actions.
  • Diablerie and related game mechanics from the PnP game is “under heavy discussion” no decision as of now.
  • Diablerie is very interesting. I guess if they’re going to feature final death in the game, why not let players steal other players’ souls? This is a taste of the viscerality that this game might offer, something that Age of Conan approached but didn’t quite nail in terms of darkness, noire, and shock value.

  • Dynamic NPC missions/World events
  • One world server, no shards/instancing.
  • This is a little concerning in terms of immersion. Vampires are special creatures. There shouldn’t be more than a few dozen in an entire city, much less a few hundred thousand. CCP’s additional plans for a cash shop concern my sense of immersion still more. And what about RP, which is going to be huge in WoD? Most serious RP’ers don’t want to be lumped in with the rest.

    Imagine trying to RP in the setting and the elected vampire sheriff and second in command (or whatever) of your local city end up being Sir Ashtonkoochie and Captainfangs. Maybe CCP will sensibly have RP cities, but the tone seems to be to get everyone together, not separated. I’m sure there will be epic threads on this in the official forums at some point.

  • Torpor in game but not used as in PnP game, used as a mechanic to explain why a kindred did not die/final death
  • They are aware the WoD is is a adult setting and the devs are going to not shy away from gore, blood and nudity. However such will have a reason and not adult content for the sake of adult content.
  • Are we talking vampire reason or human reason, here? Because vampire reasoning is in a whole other category! That’s all we’ve got for now, although Justin at Massively has promised a fully-fledged report later in the week with possibly more information. (edit-as of Thursday, the link to the just-posted article.

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About Silverangel

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