RPGamer had the privilege of talking with several representatives of Sony Online Entertainment on the matter of their upcoming MMORPG, Gods and Heroes: Rome Rising.
Gods and Heroes takes place in a stylized version of ancient Rome, complete with cities, mythical beasts, and hordes of barbarians. Players have the opportunity to wield weapons and magic that the ancient Romans may not have had access too, historically, but the architecture and landscape are true to form.
Combat in Gods and Heroes differs from most MMOs in one large respect: highly customizable NPC allies. As the player character levels up, he or she will gain control of more allies, which need to be recruited. These allies, under the player's control, level up with the player, and have specific skills and techniques which the player will
need to consider. These allies will fit under three main categories: Melee, Skirmish, and Spellcaster. Melee focuses on short range attack, Skirmish on ranged weapons, and Spellcasters use magic. Across the categories there will be many different styles of fighters. Some examples given were Gauls, Pirates, and Bandits. Many allies can be
recruited in towns and cities, but more powerful and rare characters need to be obtained with specific quests. The player will be able to (with experience) use up to eight supporting characters simultaneously, and will learn more advanced tactical commands as the game progresses.
Player characters are required to ally themselves with a specific god, based on their class. Each class has two gods: one light and one dark. As players level up, the specific god they have aligned themselves with will play an important role in the abilities the player will obtain, as well as player resistances to certain types of attacks.
When playing with other characters, you will fight alongside them and their own NPC allies. Two players entering a dungeon could translate into a large strike force. Few details were given on Player Versus Player combat, but it was hinted at. It also seems that there
will be a gladiatorial-style combat option, where players fight battles in small villages, eventually moving into large city centers, and finally the Colosseum in Rome itself. In regular combat, allies can be
resurrected by the player; when an ally dies, they are not lost indefinitely. When a player dies, however, they lose a piece of their soul (as per Roman mythology), and their stats decrease. If they choose to find the place they died and seek out their soul fracture, their stats will return to normal.
RPGamer will continue to bring you news on this title as it comes to light. The beta is scheduled to run this summer, with a potential release before the end of this year. For more information, visit the Gods and Heroes web site here.