Stargate Worlds: First Impressions

Stargate Worlds

Today, Gamergod got the opportunity to join in a question and answer session with the developers of the recently announced ‘Stargate Worlds’ massively multiplayer online game.  The meeting was a lively chat which covered many aspects of this highly anticipated game.

The Stargate Worlds Q&A began with a detailed announcement of many of the game features and the development philosophies the creators, Cheyenne Mountain Entertainment, have in the works.  Here are our first impressions of the important topics covered in the meeting.

Instances – The game will definitely use instancing for adventures within the Stargate.  That said, the developers also wanted to stress the vast amount of virtual real estate planned for the game, which is not instanced.  Not only do they have large world environments planned, but they also intend on utilizing areas like spacecraft, moons, and potentially the surface of stars and black holes.

Playable Races – At this time, the only races they have confirmed are Human and Jaffa.  However, they stated that with the numerous alien races available to them from the series, they intend on adding more playable races.

Archetypes – Along with the expected military combat classes, the developers stated that there will also be a large focus on non-combat archetypes as well.  Scientists and engineers were noted as well as a very interesting class that focused on reverse engineering of alien technologies.

Non-Combat – A large emphasis was placed on the concepts of non-combat game play.  Everything from crafting of base housing to military fortifications and Goa’uld Motherships was discussed.  Additionally, they noted the presence of trade as being a significant portion of the non-combat play.  This was also noted to include aspects of smuggling banned goods that sounded very interesting.

AI-Bots – A very intriguing concept they announced was the use of AI-Bot NPC’s joining players on solo missions.  While the game is based around squads of four players adventuring through the Stargate, the ability for a player to solo with an NPC squad if a group is unavailable is a unique feature planned for this MMO.

Skill Based Combat – While the combat in Stargate will focus on very contemporary fighting techniques like machine gun firefights, they stated that the game would use a ‘hidden’ turn based engine for combat.  Rather than being twitch based or like a first person shooter, the game will use traditional MMO skill based features.  This will be heavily incorporated into the use of terrain in terms of bonus and detriments for tactical positions and cover.

Death Penalty – Surprisingly, the developers stated there would be no death penalties in the game.  No level or experience loss or even debt is planned.  Interestingly enough, the use of the Field Remote Expeditionary Device (F.R.E.D.) mobile device as the re-spawn point for death was discussed.  This will allow squads to move the re-spawn point but it will also be a target in PvP combat.

PvP – The game will definitely have a large PvP element.  Noted was the fact that this will be a more significant feature of the high end game.  The term Elder Combatant was use to define the players who would engage in PvP over contested areas.

Missions and Quests – One of the last topics discussed were the missions available to characters.  The current planning has a varied choice of mission and quest types.  Not only will missions be available to adventure through a Stargate and achieve certain goals, but quest lines can also begin on the planets visited.  Also noted was the presence of guild based missions players can choose to participate in.

Atlantis – The Atlantis Stargate is being planned as an expansion.  While the initial launch may contain elements from this series as well, the actual command center will not be a part of the initial game.

Our first impressions about the game were good.  The developers have a wide vision and an exciting universe of material to choose from.  They seem to be attempting to create the game using all aspects of the Stargate universe, rather than limiting themselves to certain areas.  This wide-open approach bodes well for the depth of the game development and the replay ability of the game over time.  From crafting and construction to ground and space-based combat and everything in between, the game features are grand in scope.

Announced as being available sometime in 2007, we have some time to wait, but as the developers stated, that means they will have a 10th season of material to drawn from before launch.

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