At E3 this year we got the chance to take a first look at Bigpoint’s upcoming browser based MMO based on Battlestar Galactica and although it was a very early build, the game did look like it may show some promise. Back in June there were very little gameplay details but this evening Bigpoint has not only unleashed new screenshots, but also further information on how the game is going to work.
Player Avatar Customization, XP and Ranks:
Players in Battlestar Galactica Online take on the role of a pilot in their chosen faction’s military – either a ‘nugget’ recently recruited from the human civilian fleet or a recently generated Cylon ‘pilot mind’. From these humble beginnings, players can develop their character into a skilled and experienced officer capable of using the most advanced combat systems and commanding the largest and most powerful ships. Upon starting the game the player will be able to fully customize their avatar. This avatar will be used for the out of ship gameplay experience and in their respective faction’s homebase.
A primary form of character progression in Battlestar Galactica Online is through the accumulation of experience points (XP). Characters earn XP by performing various in-game actions, and these XP are used to determine the character’s rank and to train Skills. There will be 20 ranks available at launch for Battlestar Galactica Online.
There are two types of missions in Battlestar Galactica Online – Story Missions and Assignments. Each faction has a series of Story Missions that introduce players to the game and gradually reveal their role in the struggle between Humans and Cylons. Characters will unlock access to story missions at specific ranks, and may accept them by talking to the military leader of their fleet. Story missions are designed to reveal to the player key plot points in the conflict, reward players with XP, resources and occasionally ship systems.
In addition, characters can receive daily Assignments by talking to important characters at their home fleets, or perform Duties. Assignments present the character with a specific task to complete, such as defeating a certain number of enemy players in combat or harvesting a certain amount of resources, and reward them with XP and resources. Duties are part of Battlestar Galactica Online’s achievement system. Completed Duties will reward the player with XP rewards and titles. Each title has a small bonus associated with it, and characters may choose a single ‘active’ title from all those that they have unlocked.
Ship Classes and Customization:
Each faction in Battlestar Galactica Online has several playable ship classes, divided into three ‘tiers’ by size (small, medium and large) and role (Offensive, Defensive and Command). Each ship class has a specific number of slots for Ship Systems, which are items that grant ships abilities and bonuses when installed. There are four general categories of ship systems (Weapon, Hull, Engine and Computer) and three sizes (small, medium and large). In addition, most systems have several levels of increasing in power and effectiveness.
Characters begin the game with a small ship, but by collecting enough resources can requisition additional ships, and by earning enough XP can qualify to command larger vessels. Eventually, a character can own several ships of different classes. By allocating XP, characters can train the skills required to use additional types and higher levels of ship systems, which can be requisitioned with resources. Battlestar Galactica Online is designed to promote flexibility and freedom of choice for its players and will not forced players into flying particular types or sizes of ship, but there will be advantages for certain types of ships depending on the quest and gameplay situation.
The different combinations of ship class and systems determine what a character can do in combat, and their skills determine how well they can do it, allowing for a huge variety of different playstyles and combat roles. Each standard ship can be upgraded into an elite version of its class. The upgraded versions of each ship class will have additional system slots, stronger and more durable hulls, and visual customization options.