Closed Alpha Underway; Introducing the PvP Arena

Well we're now about 24 hours into the Closed Alpha and things are going very well so far. We've had excellent server stability and other than some early issues with the patch server not working as quickly as it should (which have now been resolved), everyone is having a great time.

Some fun stats for you so far:

  • Total hours played: 463
  • Unique players participating: 172
  • Players with at least one max-level character: 25

If you've been with us during the Alpha test then I thank you for your participation and your valuable feedback.

The PvP Arena

One of the things that I've been toying with the idea of doing since I originally started working on this project is the concept of a "Hunger Games" style battle royale. I think it's a really good fit for an MMO because we can re-use all of the same leveling, gear, and monsters that we already have; but now they're all just thrown together along with a few players into a free for all arena!

Today we're pleased to introduce the first version of this is available for play in OrbusVR. There's a Wiki page with lots of details about how it all works, but here are a few of the highlights.

Equal Footing

One of the cool things about this game mode is that everyone starts off on equal footing. Regardless of how powerful you are in the "main game world," you always start off Level 1 with basic gear. Then you can level up as high as Level 4 in the arena (and the XP gain is much higher than the base game). All the XP and gear you gain in the arena doesn't carry with you when you leave.

Run and hide or charge in?

It's up to you if you want to charge right into combat with the other players, or if you want to retreat into the woods and take your chances with the monsters. Defeating monsters grants you XP and gear which can make you more powerful, but of course there's always the chance that someone else will sneak up on you and vanquish you while you're busy fighting a Forest Golem. On the other hand, if you just wait patiently and never attack anything, you could find yourself way behind in the level race to where another player could kill you with just a couple of shots of their superior gear. Decisions, decisions...

Choose your weapon

Of course, one of the interesting things about this is that the gear is random. So if you get a lot of great drops for the Runemage but you aren't as skilled in that class...what do you do? Play it safe with the class you know or try the new one out since you'll be better equipped? The best players will know how to play all the classes effectively so they can adjust to the gear drops and what other players are using on the fly.

Future Plans

If this game mode proves popular, there's a lot we'd like to do to improve it. Monsters that level up as the game progresses so you have a reason to keep up with the level curve. A shrinking arena so the game doesn't just end with turtling. Loot bags in the middle at the start to encourage a light skirmish right away. We'll get to all of it eventually if people enjoy playing this game mode. Of course, we've also got about a hundred other idea for Organized PvP play in the game, so this won't be the only thing we'll try...

If you're the Closed Alpha just grab the latest patch, hop in the queue, and join the action. We won't always have this game mode available but we wanted you all to have the opportunity to try out the first version of it today. Enjoy!

Riley Dutton

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