Mortal Online is an open world first person MMORPG in development by Swedish company Star Vault
The game is set in the seamless and persistent fantasy world of Nave. With a high conceptual focus on realism in a gritty Hyborian-esque era, players are given extreme freedoms and extensive tools to define their experience for themselves and immerse themselves into the game world. As such, the game is a sandbox largely based on player interaction or confrontation in relation to roleplay or control of items, resources and land. Although there are possibilities for exploration, dungeoneering and encounters with monsters as well.
The world is persistent, and players will have unique opportunities to experience and influence the flow of history with their actions. Rare monsters and quests never appear again after they're been slain or completed, which allows for the development of lore and reputation among players and the game world itself. There is a powerful day-night cycle, which gives multiple real-time hours of near black darkness during the night (although lights help with visibility).
There are 10 distinct races which players may choose from, many of which with historical influences, including: Thursar (half-orcs), Tindremene (Greco-Romans), Khurite (Mongolians), Veela (elves), Sheevra (dark elves), Sidoian (Nubians), Kallard (Norse), Sarduccan (Romani), Blainn (arctic dwarves), Huergar (deep dwarves). Players may mix their heritage between many of the available races at character creation to influence character attributes, appearance and starting location.
There is not a traditional class or level system in Mortal Online. Instead, characters are defined by three tiers of progression, beginning with Primary Attributes, which include strength, dexterity, and so forth. These stats influence a character's secondary attributes (health, mana, etc.) as well as granting or limiting a character's access to skills. There is a common cap on primary attributes. The most basic of skills are the Primary Skills, which every character has and must train to open up the majority of the skill tree. There is a common cap on primary skills of 1000 points, with skills maxing at 100 each. Secondary Skills make up the bulk of the skill tree and are interconnected in a complex web of prerequisites, any one secondary skill may have a requirement of a primary attribute, a primary skill, another secondary skill, or any combination thereof. They are not immediately available, and must be learned in game through books, tutoring, magic or achievements. Secondary skills do not have a cap and will stop functioning if their prerequisite is untrained (but do not disappear entirely). Skills come in three varieties: Active, trained by use in game, like fighting with a sword; Learning, slowly trained through study, but only one may be trained at any one time; and Deva, secondary skills which apply to all of your characters. There are plans to implement a (non-player) guild based system for classes, which grants benefits in a class preset and a title if a character maintains the prerequisite.
Players interact with the world only from a first person perspective, similar to that of The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion
. The real-time combat, a major feature which sets it apart from cookie cutter MMOs, utilizes aiming with 10 different hitboxes (and 10 different locations to equip armor) to create dynamic and realistic confrontations. Attacks are charged, similar to Mount and Blade
. Characters can also cast magical spells (targeted), employ archery or fight from horseback (mounted melee and archery).
There are no special PvP zones in Mortal Online, you may fight anyone, anywhere. Furthermore, the combat is full-loot, so on death all the items a player was carrying become lootable to all players. However, there is a flagging system which labels players and items Blue ('innocent"), Grey (criminal) or Red (murderer). Blue characters may call the guards (if they are in a lawful town) to help deal with a grey or red player. Grey players have done something wrong recently, for instance stealing an item, and may be attacked without offense (but if you engage them first, you turn grey to them). Red players have committed a number of murders and may be attacked without offense (again, engaging them first makes you grey to them). Certain merchants may choose not to trade with grey or red players, and red players loose stats if they resurrect too quickly after death. Items that are red or grey can be stolen or looted without offense, but messing with blue items turns you grey.
As insinuated in the last paragraph, there is a system for actively thieving items from a player's backpack.
There is a complex crafting system in MO, allowing for an immense variety of items. Items can be crafted with different materials, which impart unique effects on that item's effectiveness, for instance a wooden axe deals very little damage or golden plate is really heavy. Furthermore, there are numerous customizations to had with any item, melee weapons require the choice of a head and shaft, and choice of material for both, allowing for unique and sometime absurd combinations (ex., a greatsword on a dagger's handle).
Players can build houses and establish guild houses and keeps, which can be attacked and destroyed. There are bridges and other public buildings players may work on to grant passage or take tolls.
Animals and certain monsters in the wilds can be tamed, kept as pets, ridden as mounts (horses), and used as allies in battle. They must be well cared for or they may turn on their master.
Mortal Online has a keen focus on realism and to that end, presents a number of ideas that divide players.
- Full-Loot and Thievery - The danger and risk versus reward of full-loot is a terrifying prospect for some itemophiles, and downright frustrating for anyone. But, fans of this feature feel it's integral to the establishment of an immersive, exciting, living world with a realistic economy.
- Darkness - There is true pitch black darkness in Mortal Online, during the night and in caves/dungeons. Players can wield torches to light their way, and during the dark night cities can be seen from far off from the lanterns that light them. This feature can make it hard to even play the game for a lot of people, but maybe there's something to be said for the immersion and the ability to sneak realistically.
- Nudity - When a character is not wearing any clothing in MO, they are completely nude. This is a problem for a lot of people (particularly parents), however there is a particular lack of sexuality to the nudity, compared to plenty of half-naked women in other MMO's. Moreover, MO is aimed at a mature audience.
- No In-game Map - There is no in-game map that magically informs on your exact coordinates in MO. There is an intention to let players create their own maps. Again, this is a problem for getting at gameplay as quickly and directly as possible, but half of the adventure is getting there, some might say.