Das Tal is a true Sandbox MMORPG with a persistent world. This means that the world keeps spinning and developing over the server’s lifetime, rather than only being active when a player logs in. That does not mean that players will spend all their time combining scraps of materials and hunting animals for food. Instead you will meet other players in PvP combat and your world will tell the story of those fights. No quests. No cut scenes. No filler.
Player interaction is the key part of enjoying a Sandbox MMORPG, and for this reason we will not restrict PvP with padding systems such as flagging or safe zones. Instead, players will find that there are consequences and benefits to how they interact with their fellow players - even those of a different skill or character level. Veterans will be rewarded for mentoring newbies. Ganking them is dangerous - as they don’t lose their gear but your high-level stuff easily gets lost.
Time-Boxing a persistent MMO means means breaking up an endless journey into unique chunks. Each server in Das Tal will eventually reach a climactic end event and then refresh, leaving behind a world full of stories, winners and losers. You as the players then decide on the feature list of the new server and eventually enter a new world with completely new challenges.
Das Tal will remove a large portion of the grind that is currently necessary in other Sandbox MMOs. You will not be forced to macro your skills or click on resource nodes for hours. Instead you will find that both character progression and the war for resources are tied to PvP events big and small. This means frequent raiding, treasure hunts and city sieges instead of farming mobs for hours and hours.
All cities in das Tal will be player settlements. You will restore the ruins that you discover in the game world and use them as defensive structures for your clan. These settlements will also offer facilities for training, crafting and storage - and they are your clan’s major respawn points. Every now and then you will be sieged by those clans who wish to take your town - and sometimes you might even be the attackers.
You will spend your prime time in game fighting to capture and hold resource deposits. Those are your means of gaining materials for crafting and building, but they can also be used as a method of starving out your opponents. Denying enemies the ability to craft better gear or improve their settlement could mean a serious tactical advantage, turning the tide in what may have otherwise been defeat in a head-on battle.
PvP is at the core of Das Tal. Technology has advanced enough so that we can finally take a step away from good ol’ Tab-targeting and create an exciting combat system that rewards accuracy, timing and tactical decision making. All abilities in Das Tal will be free-aimed. Full friendly fire & player collision will be enabled. An organised group of skilled players will have a significant advantage against a simple zerg.
Characters in Das Tal are classless. That means that abilities are attached to weapons and armor so that players construct their build when they put on their equipment & pick their abilities. This makes changing roles a matter of swapping out equipment & doing some re-training, allowing players to experience many types of gameplay without having to create multiple characters.
It’s 2014 and that means that players can finally directly influence the development of their game. We will not keep development conversation solely on our forums, we would like to stay engaged with the Steam community along with others. You will also be able to vote on our development priorities and send in your designs to be created by us. And of course you will be the ones setting the rules for each individual server.
We are currently finishing up the first stage of game development: pre-production. We have spent the last 14 months building a team and creating multiple gameplay and tech prototypes. We have found our art style and setting. Now it's time to start revealing the game so we can take the next step and start full production. This is where we need you. If we can gauge enough interest from the players then it will get much easier for us to raise the necessary funds and get going with making the game that we love.
Initially FD started out as just two independent gamer developers (Alex & Sebi) who decided to stop making "small" games and aim for the stars: Our very own Sandbox MMO. We've grown to a team of six people who have worked on this latest prototype. We're based in Munich, Germany, and we have big plans. If you want to meet us in person then just drop by our office or meet us for Quo Vadis and A Maze in Berlin this April - we're going to be giving a talk about pre-production for Das Tal at the main conference: 2014.qvprogram.com
Rumble in the Jungle
This test’s goal is to stress our game servers. We expect around 100 players to be able to log in at the same time so don’t be too upset if you don’t get in at first. Not everybody will actually make it to the test but we’ll still be over-subscribed a lot. You can also expect a good amount of lag as we’re getting nearer to the current server capacity - so keep your cool if things start lagging out a little (or a lot).
Our upcoming tests will be less crowded again as we’ll increase our server capacity further and keep the number of invitees a little smaller.
Veteran Tester Status
As I just wrote, these 800 keys we just sent out are single-use. So they are only good for this one test. Once the test is over you’ll have to wait for us to select you for another test again. This of course is going to get harder as more people sign up for the alpha waiting list.
The keys we’ve sent out to you before today are permanent - so if you’ve had a key before this test you will also be able to participate (and you’ll continue to be able to join our coming playtests).
But so far all of you have been restricted to playing only in the short time when we opened up our game server for the Sunday playtests. This is going to change for some people. We are occasionally going to promote a very small number of testers to veteran tester status - based on their feedback quality and testing prowess. This will enable you to log into the game server 24/7. And even better: It will allow you to log into the server even if we’ve already reached the player cap for that single playtest.
So until now there have only been two ways to get into the alpha tests: Get randomly selected from the waiting list or impress us with your community contributions to the game (like signing up for our Greenlight campaign). We’re now working on opening up a third way.
This way will be by supporting our game’s development via alpha funding. In simple words, add to our company piggy bank and we’ll open our servers for you. Sounds dirty, but that’s game development for you, we need to pay the bills to keep the lights on. Even though we’re funded for the coming months, we need to start generating an income to sustain the team and even increase it. For example we’d really love to add another programmer to our team (with a focus on client side code and tools) - and new team members means new expenses.
Your support will earn you a bunch of awesome perks - one of them being access to the game’s alpha. But again: This will not be the only way to get into the alpha. The other two ways (join the waiting list or do something awesome in the community) are still perfectly valid. In some way or another you’re going to make it into the game, and I’m already looking forward to playing with you all.
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@rilan Good point. Vacation is needed and soon.
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I gave a talk about game criticism, listening to game systems and the importance of mechanics/fiction match. Slides: T.co
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Mechanics are the Message: This is the talk I gave today. Audio recording coming soon, probably needed. T.co
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The Shadowbane Emulator (Freeshard) will go live this friday. Go play it already! T.co
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