Stargate Worlds: First Look

Arep | 14 June 2008 | Comments off

Once upon a time, the human race was enslaved by the god, Ra, until an uprising drove him from the planet. Thousands of years later an ancient machine for travelling between distant worlds is discovered allowing James Spader and Kurt Russell to blow Ra and his flying pyramid to smithereens. In the following decade we find out that pretty much every ancient god that has ever been worshiped on Earth was actually an alien in disguise (Who knew?!), mankind has descended from a race of super-beings who have since turned into pure energy and the stargates make up a huge transportation network that exists in at least two galaxies. Oh, and Ra and his ilk are actually evil parasitic worms called Goa’uld. That pretty much covers the basics. I’ll wait here while you go watch the Stargate SG-1 series.

Done yet? Ok, sorry…take your time.

Now go watch Stargate Atlantis…its ok, I’ve got some house cleaning to do…and don’t forget the Ark of Truth movie.

Caught up? Ok, good. You should now be very excited about the prospects of an MMO based on the Stargate universe! Please keep in mind that the game has just started its closed beta phase so information about features, classed, etc are subject to change. Also the information in this article comes in large part from the Stargate Worlds Wiki (Main Page - Stargate Worlds Wiki (SGW)) which is the definitive source of information about the game.

Story is going to play a very important part in the game. As far as the show is concerned, the game takes place between the 8th and 9th seasons. So, for those that have seen the show, the super Goa’uld Anubis and the Replicators are the big baddies and Jack O’Neil has been promoted to Brigadier General. Season Nine brings in the Ori so we shouldn’t have to worry about them in SGW...yet. Cheyenne Mountain Entertainment (CME) is already anticipating that the first expansion pack will incorporate Stargate Atlantis and the Pegasus galaxy.

So, with the game taking place in that time period we will have the following character archetypes to play:

Archeologist – This is the class you’ll want to pick if Daniel Jackson is your hero on the show. They will be adept at deciphering languages and diplomacy. Their skills will allow them to blend in with other cultures and even set up ambushes. Their skills will be used to solve puzzles in the form of minigames. This class will be strictly for humans.

Asgard – Stereotypical “grey” aliens, the Asgard influenced ancient Norse mythology. They are technologically superior and are at the heart of the alliance of “good” factions. Apparently one special ability of the Asgard character will be to call down a bombardment from an orbiting Asgard ship. Take THAT, boar!

Commando – Another human class, the Commando makes use of sniper rifles, demolitions and other specialized equipment.

Goa’uld – The Goa’uld that will be playable in the game have learned that pretending to be a god just doesn’t work anymore. Like the Goa’ulds in the show, they will be adept at assembling minions to do their bidding and thus will be a pet class. There is talk of allowing the Goa’uld characters to be able to change hosts (though not to the point of taking over other players) so that should make for some interesting character progression. The Goa’uld will be at the heart of the “evil” allied faction and will have a good bit of advanced technology at their disposal.

Jaffa – There will be two flavors of Jaffa in SGW, free Jaffa and loyalist Jaffa. The free Jaffa have been liberated from their Goa’uld masters and their symbiotes removed. (The Jaffa carried Goa’uld symbiotes which increased their strength and durability) The loyalist Jaffa still carry their symbiotes and, although they do not necessarily fall under the control of a Goa’uld commander, they like their style and long for the days when they were in control. Jaffa will make use of the iconic staff weapon for both ranges and melee fighting.

Scientist – Similar to the Archeologist, the scientist will use their skills to “do science” in the form of minigame puzzles. Scientists will be able to use technology to build turrets, shields and also heal comrades. Samantha Carter and Rodney McKay fans will want to choose this class.

Soldier – This is your tank. The soldier will make use of many types of weapons, grenades and rocket launchers. The soldier will also have some healing ability and their command skills will most likely apply buffs to the group. Soldiers, Scientists, Commandos and Archeologists are all human but some or all of these classes may choose between the good and evil factions.

All archetypes have specialization trees which will allow them to be customized to the point of almost being a totally different class. For example, the Scientist can specialize in the Support (traps), Robotics (turrets) and Medical (healing) trees. There will be enough points to master one tree and half of another (or a combination of each tree). A Scientist that has mastered the medical tree will play differently than one which has mastered Robotics.

Combat will be highly tactical with the use of cover and strategy being more important than hit points. Each class will their roles and each will be important…yes, even the Scientists and Archeologists. The situation will impact your choice of weapons. Do I snipe from cover? Do I pull out the rocket launcher? Do I zap them with my staff or run up and womp them? This also brings up something interesting about weapons. The P90 you get can be used throughout the game…you won’t be finding any “P90 +5 to beasts” or anything. The weapons will be upgradable using devices acquired through crafting and looting. Your skills will also play a large part in how effective your weapons are.

Just a quick note on PvP since not a lot of information has been released. At launch there will be servers with PvP rulesets where player-vs-player combat will happen. Down the road there will be a major update that will flesh out PvP and possibly add things like contested worlds and such. More on that in future updates.

So, where will you be able to go? Well, I was very surprised to find out that there may be 30-50 locations at launch! However, not all locations will be the same size. There are some that will be very large, however some may just consist of a single room…say, for example, the gate room of a star ship. Some locations will be off the gate system and players will have to find another way of getting there.

Missions will be the primary vehicle for moving the storyline along, but not only will there be a main storyline but each class will have their own story arc as well. Supposedly there will be a number of ways to progress through missions allowing classes like the Archeologist and Scientist to make use of their special skills. More meaty quests are being developed in lieu of “go kill five rabbits” or “go bring this hunk of cheese to that guy over there.”

Finally, crafting as it is being developed for release may use minigames to make the experience more interesting. Reverse engineering will be the primary means of gathering information and resources. Crafters will start out gaining info based on their race’s own technology but may later reverse engineer technology from other races. The four crafting trees will be: Bio-Medical, Electronics, Materials and Power Systems. Command (guild) headquarters and craftable ships may be added in future expansions and large-scale cooperative crafting will be a big part of that.

So far, Stargate Worlds is looking like it is going to be a great game. Keep your eyes here and on the Stargate Worlds Wiki for more information as we get closer to launch. 

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