Dark Centuries

It’s a Kickstarter for an MMO that sounds like it could offer something a little different for MMO players.

Enlightened Studios are the latest developer to hit Kickstarter with an MMO and this one is not so much inspired by the typical MMO fantasy worlds. This game features a more recognisable history with Vikings, Celts and Saracens and it’s set between  1.000 – 1.300 AD . Enlightened is fed up with MMOs all featuring similar features and gameplay style so they want to shake things up with and offer a more in-depth experience with a medieval setting, immersive gameplay and realistic graphics.

As they point out, the MMO genre has somewhat stagnated in recent years and they want Dark Centuries to be “an alternative to the many standardized clone-products that have been in the market since 2004″. We certainly salute their motives because MMOs have become rather dull.

Diego Puoti, Game Developer at Enlightened Studios, explains: “We’re huge fans of MMOs and adventures in fantasy worlds, but we’ve noticed that the majority of games available at the moment are very similar and way too easy. This is why we want to create a revolutionary game that provides an experience gamers haven’t felt for a while. We hope The Dark Centuries will offer something different and new, while at the same time staying true to the genre.”

Hearing developers say they will reinvent the MMO all sounds rather familiar, but if you watch the Kickstarter video (see below) Enlightened do have a few ideas that are a little out of the ordinary for an MMO. For example Crafters will actually be a class, not just something anyone can do. There will be no maps, these have to created and the skill learned with only Crafters being able to create more detailed maps. They believe that a constant map showing players where to go is “a flaw of the current MMORPGs”. Quests will also be more community driven, not the typical ! mark above NPC heads.

Reading through their plans for The Dark Centuries it’s apparent they are aiming at the RPG gamers that loves to explore and discover the world they’re playing in. It could really appeal to players who want a real challenge and immersive themselves in everything a new game world has to offer.

Key features they want to highlight that could make this MMO stand out include:

  • Community driven quest system: Rather than by characters with an exclamation mark on their head, quests will be given by NPCs who monitor the supply level of communities in the various settlements. The quests will be generated by the actual needs of a community. For example the lack of materials will generate the need to gather additional resources and automatically make available a specific quest to players who want to take it. Other kind of quests will require players to defeat monsters threatening the settlement, or to recover special objects belonging to the community, and so on and so forth.
  • In game housing system: players will be able to build a house in an existing settlement (not an instanced area) and therefore to actively forge their community;
  • Bravery acknowledgments: players will have the chance to distinguish themselves by killing tons of enemies in battle and having their names carved into marble tags proudly shown into the main capitals. Furthermore, players will be able to become even more influential by acquiring the rank of quest-givers and affect the social aspect of the game;
  • Realm invasion: The conquest of an enemy realm begins at the farthest point of the frontiers, as the players advance and consolidate control over territory, and ends laying siege to the castle of the enemy Great Lord, at the very core of the enemy realm.
  • Challenging game experience: As former RPG players, we know that achieving the result too easily results in getting bored soon. For this reason, the level of difficulty of the game, without being too excessive, will still be calibrated to make the gameplay a challenging experience, that will never get too easy.
  • Dedicated mobile application: it will enable players to perform specific tasks regardless their physical presence in front of their pc; crafting a weapon or armor, managing the family treasury or ordering the goods for sale will be possible every time everywhere.

The Dark Centuries looks quite interesting, especially if you’ve become disillusioned by the MMO genre, and we know there’s a lot of you out there. Enlightened are looking for a rather modest $100,000 so we have to assume that this is a top-up fund because an in-depth MMO is not going to be made on that budget.

You can check out the Kickstarter pitch below along with the first pieces of concept art they sent over.

Paul Younger
Founder and Editor of PC Invasion. Founder of the world's first gaming cafe and Veteran PC gamer of over 22 years.

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