A lot of sandbox MMORPGs are under development these days. Yesterday, Forged Chaos launched a new Kickstarter program trying to raise $750.000 in order to finish their latest sandbox MMORPG, Trials of Ascension.
“A sandbox MMORPG set in the fantasy world of TerVarus where you will find fun and challenge while risking it all to ascend as high as your imagination may dare”
So let’s take a look at the features that set Trials of Ascension apart:
A unique system where you will gain knowledge, ranged from Novice to Legend, in a specific skill when using it. Your rate of gaining knowledge will slow dramatically as you spread yourself out over numerous skills.
Some skills will also have techniques that will offer you special bonuses when using a skill. Most of them are automatically applied and they don’t require to be activated, beside the crafting techniques. For example, if you are specialized in the Swords and Daggers skills, you will learn the Disarm technique and each time you hit an opponent you will have a chance to disarm him.
Trials of Ascension will feature an action combat style based on the simple idea of swinging, shooting, throwing, or defending in the direction you are aiming, without any target locking. Left mouse button will be used to attack while the right one will help you defend. It will also have the ability to dodge by double tapping the movement keys and doing powerful attacks by releasing the attack button after holding it down for a certain length of time.
Your character will have five slots in which you can put different offensive or defensive techniques depending on the weapon type you are wielding at that moment. You can only have two techniques active at the same time, so by using a skill a maxim of two effects can be applied.
The game will have a free open world PvP system meaning that you can attack or be attacked anywhere and anytime. The single exception to this rule is the sacred place of Monolith where any aggressive action against someone will be punished by death.
What else do we want from a free PvP MMORPG? Yes, Sieges. We don’t know many details about the siege system yet, but for the launch we know that Forged Chaos prepared the first siege equipment, the catapult. This weapon of mass destruction will be built on the battlefield and will feature three manning stations. The skills and techniques of each operator will determine how fast a round is loaded or how accurate the shot will be.
Flora and Fauna found in Trials of Ascension will spawn according to the local climate, terrain type, affinity to civilization and a host of others variables. You won’t see the same creature spawning over and over in the same location.
Dungeons will also have a random approach, but here things are a little bit different. Forged Chaos is planning to have a team of GMs that will access an ever-growing list of dungeons that they can place into the world for you to discover and explore. Such dungeons won’t be permanent in TerVarus and will collapse after a given time, they may last for several hours or they could last for months.
Dungeon content will also be created by the GMs, using a special Spawn Markers system that will allow them to set how often, how many, the spawn radius, escalation (after x monsters spawned, spawn an elite), terminators (if the boss is killed, destroy the marker) and countless other options. These features are made to really change the way you play an MMO.
It’s going to be an easy to learn, yet just impossible to master crafting system, based on recipes and multi-step processes. During this step-by-step crafting process (the usual smelt ingots, create a metal rod, etc.) the crafter will be able to apply a special technique that he previously learned. For example, when a blacksmith is creating a sword he can apply his tempering technique during a particular step in order to give the final product more durability.
To create a masterwork item, one of the highest quality items, you will need to team up with other crafters specialized in different techniques.
Another factor used in Trials of Ascension crafting is the tool quality (40 crafting tools are already planned for launch). Using the proper high quality tools will increase your chance of creating a high quality item. Another important thing is that you can outright fail during any step, and if that happens, the half created item and any resources you added during that step are destroyed.
Repairing an item will also be possible, but items repaired will lose a certain amount of durability each time and will eventually lose enough quality to be deemed worthless after many attempts. When the item becomes worthless you have the option to recycle it for gaining several resources back.
We have a strong crafting system, crafters community, what else we need? The so-called Makers Mark. This is a system allowing crafters from all over TerVarus to leave a permanent mark on a crafted item, a mark that will tell anyone who looks closely at that item, who made it.
Magic & Spells
Becoming a mage was never easy and Trials of Ascension is following the same road. All magic in TerVarus is divided into four schools: Atrophy, Creation, Ethereal and Materialist. First of all you will need to craft your spell book in order to join one of the four schools (you will need to craft a spell book for each school of magic you wish to pursue). Once a book is crafted, it becomes bound to your character.
Now learning a spell is a different story. When crafting a spell book you will gain the ability to detect arcane energy from around the world. This energy is bound to a host so throughout your adventure you will encounter different things that manifest an aura around them, can be an apple tree, an animal or even a fellow adventurer.
To separate the arcane energy from its host you will have to defeat it. The battle will be over when either you or the energy is dead. Upon defeat, the energy will release a part of a symbol that flows into your spell book (how much of a symbol is gained will depend on character’s intelligence).
After collecting several symbols, you will gain a new ability to detect arcane creatures. These creatures are no longer attached to a host so you can find them roaming around the world. Defeating an arcane creature will grant the slayer its own power source – a spell.
Casting spells will require different components depending on the magic school. If you don’t have the right components or if you are interrupted while casting your spell may misfire. For example, if you fail teleport, your character may land 100 feet above your intended destination.
Each spell will have its own set of properties that can be enhanced through gathering more symbols and defeating arcane creatures. These properties include damage, area of effect, duration, casting time, stamina drain, component use, etc.
Settlements and Kingdoms
In order to create your own kingdom you will to have at least one skill at artisan or higher level and a minimum of nine members ready to swear fealty to your future banner. Each person swearing fealty must also have one skill at artisan or higher level and between all of their skills there must be: blacksmithing, carpentry, culinary, horticulture and stonemasonry.
Once you met all these requirements you’ll need to find a suitable land in order to place your banner. When a banner is placed it will be at half mast and you will need to defend it for one hour until it rises to the top, at which time you become a king or queen.
A king can grant governing rights and appoint several lords to any of his settlements. Once granted rulership, a lord can change the tax rates, hire guards, build civic structures, etc. He also can rebel at any time and the settlement will become a kingdom of its own in war with the kingdom it is breaking way from.
The lord can also place private plots for sale and set civic structures such as towers, barracks and walls to be built throughout his territory.
Each settlement has its own reputation with NPCs, influenced by the actions and decisions of its ruler. Warmongering, high taxes, not hosting social events are just a few examples of how your reputation can decline, making it harder and more costly to hire new NPCs.
In Tribes of Ascension warfare will have a huge impact on the game’s global stage. Each kingdom can declare war, but should carefully consider if its current economy can sustain a long battle since wars will be taxing both kingdom’s treasury and its citizen’s willpower and morale. During times of war all citizens are able to attack the opposing kingdom without damaging their reputation.
If you manage to occupy a kingdom banner, a process similar to placing the banner in order to create a kingdom, you will become the new ruler of that land. At any time during the war period a peace treaty can be sent by either side and if the opposing ruler accepts the treaty a state of peace will be declared. If war is declared again while under a peace treaty, the declaring kingdom’s reputation will be drastically impacted.
If you want to learn more about the game or if you want to help them achieve their founding goal check Trials of Ascension Kickstarter page.