Like all sci-fi TV, Stargate has devotees. Some align themselves with the movie and the original writer’s intentions to make a trilogy. Others dismiss the film in the same way Buffy the Vampire Slayer fans dismiss the rubbish film that spawned their series of choice, while most people don’t give a toss. The forthcoming Stargate MMO is aimed at the last two groups.
Stargate Worlds will be an MMO set in the world of the TV series. We were keen to find out where in the spectrum of the new wave of MMOs this would fit. We spoke to Dan Elggren, the head of Cheyenne Mountain, a company named after the home of Stargate Command, that’s been set up to develop Stargate Worlds.
“It’s a traditional MMO system that will be very familiar to gamers, but with more depth and tactical options. We are not a twitch-based game or any type of hybrid MMOFPS,” explains Elggren. So there won’t be a re-imagining of the genre to get our heads around. But while it tries to trade in on the familiarity of WoW and provide a well-defined and popular sci-fi universe to play in, Stargate Worlds will try to distinguish itself using its brains.
“One of the big differences will be our AI. In most MMOs if you walk into a set of mobs, once you’ve seen how they react once, you know how they will react every time you walk into that group. Mobs in Stargate Worlds won’t give you the same look twice.” This is a fair accusation; PvE combat can be a hypnotic drudge, and anything to make it feel like you’re not fighting one routine with your own routine can only improve the experience.
Then it gets a little bit more surprising. “For those gamers who aren’t interested in combat, we’re integrating minigames in a way to provide alternative gameplay styles. We’re consciously building our game to be easily accessible to non-gamers and gamers who have never picked up an MMO.” Setting the target audience to ‘everyone’ will thrill the money men, but it’s a strategy that tends to fail. But Elggren remains adamant.