The Repopulation

I heard about a new game in development this weekend called “The Repopulation“. It is a sci-fi themed sandbox MMO due out in Fall 2013. They had a successful Kickstarter campaign this last summer, raising twice their goal. What’s really interesting about this game is that it sounds very much like SWG in its heyday.  Check out the list of primary features on their website (it’s long) but I’ve marked some poignant ones that either relate to SWG or just sound especially cool:

  • Unique three faction PvP system where the third faction allows characters to create their own independent Rogue Nations.
  • Player created city system allows players to form and design their own cities, structures and homes.(SWG Cities)
  • Nations can own multiple cities, and even besiege the cities of their enemies.
  • Set your reaction to other nations to one of five different levels ranging from Ally to Nemesis.
  • An Advanced Generated Mission system allows us to create complex multi-stage missions which are tailored specifically for your character
  • Missions can have branching outcomes based on a player’s actions.
  • Your actions will be remembered by NPCs, and they may exploit your tendencies if you let them.
  • Missions are not all combat oriented. There are crafting, harvesting, diplomatic, and other non-combat variations available.
  • No Levels (The core of Pre-CU/NGE SWG)
  • Skills based gameplay which features 75 unique skills, and 14 tiers within each skill line.
  • Players are not forced into combat roles. Crafting, harvesting, diplomatic or other non-combat oriented skills can operate and progress independently of combat. (Weaponsmith/Shipright FTW)
  • Skills increase automatically through use. Abilities are earned and not given automatically.
  • Most of the equipable items in The Repopulation are cosmetic shells which set the category of armor or weapon in that slot. The bulk of their stats come from their five fitting slots.
  • How players respond to an engagement will affect how it progresses or spreads.
  • There are both combat and non-combat oriented engagements.
  • Tame animals when they are young, then have them slowly grow into fully matured pets if they receive proper care and feeding. (Creature Handler anyone?)
  • Genetically engineer species and hybrids by splicing DNA and Tissue from different species. (Bio-Engineer anyone?)  
  • Robotic pets can serve a variety of different combat and non-combat roles. (Droids)
  • Advanced Crafting systems which allows players to create thousands of variations of items through a total of 23 different trade skills.
  • Harvesting system allows players to harvest their resources in both combat and non-combat related fashions. Over-harvested areas will run dry of resources and recover slowly, rewarding players for discovering more remote locations.
  • Event system will require players to make decisions during the crafting process which will influence their result.
  • Each of the game’s recipe has its own mastery level which can be increased to produce higher quality items.
  • Vehicles can serve in combat roles.

While there are a lot more features than SWG had, and it is missing space flight and space combat, what it does have sounds very much like a game inspired by SWG, and the games that inspired it. There aren’t a lot of sandbox style games out there. EVE, Darkfall are the main ones I can think of that are true MMO’s.

Unlike those other two, this one sounds a little less hardcore. While there will be open world PVP and the ability to capture/destroy enemy cities,  the death penalty is also fairly minor. Some debuffs for a little while. No loss of stuff and no loss of experience. You can have buildings out and open to the world that might be subject to destruction and thievery, but it sounds like you’ll also have a personal instanced apartment that no one will be able to destroy or steal from.

Where it falls on this hardcore line will determine how interested I end up being in the project.  I can appreciate the purpose and fun of the hardcore mechanics of games like Darkfall and EVE, but they just aren’t for me. I don’t have the time to devote to doing stuff in game and then losing it because I can’t be online 24/7.

That said, I like the idea of being able to attack and capture cities. If the balance is right so that small nations (guilds) aren’t crushed easily by one mega-nation then it could be fun. There will be three factions; the two main NPC ones and a third set of rogue nations. It sounds like you can align your nation and cities with one of the main ones, then you don’t have as much freedom but do have their protection.

While the game does not appear to have space combat, or space movement at all, it does talk ab0ut vehicle combat. You have transport vehicles that can be upgraded with guns. So there is probably land vehicle combat. Maybe even aerial. So that’s something at least.

What I really like from what I’ve ready so far:

  • No skill cap. Master as many skills as you have time for. This is great for not having to have a ton of alts
  • Missions and engagements sounds very fluid and the result based on what you do
  • Crafting! Item decay, different results based on the ingredients and skill
  • Multiplayer vehicle combat, even if on the ground is always cool
  • It’s not expressly stated but it looks like there’s a lot of flexibility in decorating buildings, ala SWG
  • Weapons and armor are cosmetic shells. That means use what looks good, but the stats are what you need

Some big questions that I still have:

  • How big is the world? Will all the city spots fill up in the first month? Can you really go exploring to new areas after a short time in game?
  • How will the balance work to allow small groups to build their own cities and not get bullied by big guilds?
  • Can you play a game like this casually and still make progress?
  • How much of what I loved about SWG was because it was Star Wars? Can I enjoy that experience without the Star Wars?
  • How much of what I loved about SWG was because of when it came out? It was my last year of college and it was a light semester. Will I still enjoy that kind of game now that I’m over 30, have a kid and actual responsibility?
  • Will the other Rogues join me if I do play?
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