On the surface, assuming the role of, say, a space captain, spell-slinging badass, or superhero who sees lasers and breathes blizzards sounds like just about the greatest thing ever. And yet, there is a videogame genre that basically says, “Ok, let's take those fantasies, grind them up, and sprinkle them in a blender with heaping helpings of boring.” It's the MMORPG, and Cryptic Studios head Jack Emmert – a man who's been behind the scenes on games like City of Heroes, Star Trek Online, and Champions Online – has had just about enough of it.
His solution? Neverwinter. Described as a “co-op RPG,” it aims to reach a hand inside that blender and pluck out the boredom while leaving behind the good stuff. And, we suppose, keep both its hands. Difficult, in this case, doesn't even begin to describe it.
So, how's it gonna work? Read all about it – straight from Emmert himself – after the break.
Never say never... winter. After a lawsuit from Turbine seemed to have put it down for the count, Cryptic's rumored Neverwinter Nights follow-up has finally gone official. Based off what little has been said about the game, it appears to be an MMO, but with a potentially game-changing twist – literally. See, as with previous Neverwinter titles, there's a heavy emphasis on world-creation.
Using a “user-friendly content generation system, tentatively codenamed Forge,” you'll be able to become the dungeon master of your own quests and storylines. Sure, the majority of Forge quests will probably resemble forgeries of WoW's Hemet Nessingwary quests – you know, kill 100000 wizard-ninjas, etc – but if the system's as versatile as previous Neverwinter games, there's huge potential for something special.
So, that's the good news. The bad news? If you're the impatient type, Neverwinter's Q4 2011 release date may be a bit rough for you to swallow. In the meantime, though, why not throw together a few missions for Cryptic's first MMO, City of Heroes? After all, what better inspiration for a swords 'n' sorcery yarn than a dude in revealingly tight-fitting spandex who shoots lasers out his face? The tale of “xxxCaptainHulkYashaxxx” is one that needs to be told, regardless of whether it's in underwear-on-the-outside or a chainmail bikini.
How would you like a chance to suit up and stamp out some crime before everyone with a decent rig and an eye for spandex starts doing it? If so, circle August 17 on your calendar, because that’s when Champions Online begins its open beta.
In addition, if you preorder the game from any number of outlets, you gain "guaranteed access" to the beta (we thought “guaranteed access” was implied in the term “open beta”), along with some other super-powered goodies that vary from store-to-store.
The full game is set to confuse poor crowds of bystanders that just wanted to go bird and plane-watching on September 1 – barring any horrible bugs in the open beta, of course. Seeing as how GameStop’s preorder offer is early entry into the final version of Champions, though, we don’t think Cryptic’s too worried.
The full – and slightly lengthy – list of preorder bonuses is after the break.