Skyforge: Action Combat MMO

Skyforge is a science fantasy MMO produced by Allods Team, the people who, as you might expect, made Russian free-to-play MMO Allods . Derivative of  World of Warcraft  in many ways, it had a few high concept ideas that made it worthy of more attention than it perhaps received. It enjoyed most of its popularity in Russia, and thus both the game and its developers evaded audiences in the west, a problem compounded by a free-to-play model that has always been less popular in this part of the world.

Skyforge is a multi-pronged attempt to fix that. For one, Allods Team has enlisted the help of a small team at Obsidian whose role is to consult on game design and develop new content. “They helped us create a proper story,” says Allods Team’s Oleg Khazhinskiy. “We contact them on an everyday basis. They create new classes, new instances, and help with localisation.”

Every player is an aspiring god whose power expands across a dazzlingly complicated web of abilities. There are no levels instead, you spend different types of XP to unlock nodes in skill trees that extend between classes. Switching class is a key game mechanic, as is the punchy combat. I watched a demonstration of the Cryomancer, whose relatively traditional ice powers are augmented by a chunky snowball you roll at enemies, and by a dash power where you skid around on a bed of frost. Allods are shooting for something between WoW and Devil May Cry.
Once a day, players use their god form to become tremendously overpowered
Much of your time will be spent selecting missions from a holographic world map. These refresh on a timer, and under certain circumstances such as world-threatening invasion events not responding to a mission call in time can impact the game for the player base as a whole. You’ll also progress through a storyline, after which your character achieves their god form.

Khazhinskiy compares godhood to that moment in Titanfall. “Remember the feeling when you first get your Titan? It’s a similar feeling, emotionally.”

Once a day, players can use their god form to become tremendously overpowered  regardless of mode or context. Tough raids might require a full team of gods, but you might also use it to blitz a solo mission, dominate in PvP, or simply make a spectacular entrance. Godhood is gated by your acquisition of faith, which you can build by performing appropriate feats such as using your god form to bail out a lower-level friend in need.

Skyforge will be free to play and the extensive levelling tree, multiple resources and timed missions suggest some ways in which that might be implemented for better and worse. But there’s also promising MMO-think on show, and it’d be a shame if Skyforge slipped under the radar like its predecessor did.

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