So here’s a small plug for a game that I hope does very, very well. I do any number of Beta’s, and while I haven’t been in this one in a while, you could smell the potential from a mile away. That game is Dawntide, and they recently announced an October 1st launch date. And the timing couldn’t be better.
If you enjoyed SWG, and are feeling a little sadness over its closing, this may be the replacement for you. If the words sandbox, open-world PvP, skill-based advancement, or complex crafting systems send a little shiver of excitement down your spine…this may be the game for you.
Open Beta will be lasting right up to launch, so there is still time to jump in and see what its all about, as well as help shape the game. Yes, Dawntide is another of those games where the Devs have this silly little belief that the players should have some input into the design of the game. Which is one of the reasons I have some hope for its success. Another reason is that they are being very generous and offering up a great deal for players at launch: the client will be free, along with the first 10 days. After that you can roll with the normal subscription model or jump to the lifetime deal. Now that sounds cool, but here’s the juicy bit – a lifetime sub will only set you back €84.95, or about $122 for those of us in US land. That’s a great deal.
If you’re not convinced yet though, spend some time going over the site, and perhaps catch the new trailer or read this interview with the CEO/Producer. And let me share some of the great highlights with you:
- Crown Market – In order to foster the economy, you can’t sell random junk to vendors. Yeah, you read that right, a staple feature of MMO’s has been changed, and I think for the better. Instead you sell things at the market, where the amount you receive is based on the number of those items recently sold on the market. Those items the market then resells to other players based on that same fluctuating formula. Items unsold are removed from the market on a regular basis to keep the economy fresh. A radical idea, and one that gives the Devs an excellent tool for keeping a good handle on the in game economy. A necessity in the sandbox environment.
- Boats and Buildings – Five and fifty of them (respectively) at release, and yes, players build them. Warships are planned for a future release so that more “serious piracy” can commence. Incidentally, wind is part of the dynamic environment. How cool is that? If boats and buildings aren’t your intended crafting desire, try one or more of the 16 different professions. And no, that doesn’t include “gathering skills” – those are all actual crafting skills.
- The World – Taking a cue from EVE, there are both “anything goes” territories and existing national territories for less hardcore players. And for kicks, the world is 500 square kilometers (>120 square miles) of wide open spaces. That’s more than three times the size of Washington DC.
- Active Combat – Similar to AoC, there are three variations on basic strikes, these build things like “speed” or “power,” which are used to pay for more advanced strikes within the combat. More than 40 such moves are in the game right now. Magic has a good variety as well, with some nice spells available (150+ combat, 50+ non-combat).