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Though DUST 514 is the focus of this year's Fanfest in Iceland, EVE Online developer CCP did take some time to talk about World of Darkness, its next full-fledged MMO. Senior producer Chris McDonough took the stage during the show to reveal some of the first details about the game, talking about the mechanics, the world, and what makes it similar (and different) from EVE Online.
World of Darkness, based on the White Wolf tabletop RPG, focuses primarily on one major element of the supernatural: vampires. Mages, werewolves, and other elements of the universe will eventually be added, but at launch, players will be creating a blood-sucker and joining different clans vying for control over cities and territories. While the idea of "different dudes fighting over stuff" is a bullet-point most developers tack onto the box for their MMO, CCP plans to make the battle a very real one, just as it is in EVE Online. Factions will literally be able to take over different parts of the world, gaining control over mortals and, more importantly, their blood, which acts as the game's main resource.
Above: The world of World of Darkness is quite atmospheric
Going further, there are even plans to allow the community to elect others into actual, important roles, naming a actual players "Prince of the City," which is apparently much more than a title. Different cities, named after real-world locations (New York and London were both name-dropped), can have their own elected leaders. Seeing as the game will employ EVE Online's single-server system, being elected to the leader of a city is fairly important, and besides being a great accolade to put on a resume, the Prince of a City has the power to permanently kill players. Yes, that's right: World of Darkness is going to have permadeath in one form or another, though it won't be as widespread as it is in the tabletop game. Hardcore.
McDonough explained that World of Darkness is very much a game inspired by EVE Online, with an incredibly hardcore mentality and the idea of a player-controlled "sandbox" where there are essentially no rules. That said, efforts are being made to make it slightly more inviting. EVE is notoriously hard to get into, with lackluster tutorials and an absurd learning curve. CCP is trying to make sure that this problem doesn't carry over to its new game, and though it's still going to be making sure that it's a deep, hardcore game, it wants to be able to reach an audience that might be turned off by EVE's rough opening few (dozen) hours.
Above: Take a look at a dark, empty, spooky city
It'll also have a really nice fashion sense, with an entire slide of the presentation being devoted to showing off concept art of vampires in Gothic-inspired outfits. That's not to say the game is pandering to the Twilight crowd, however. The developers often poked fun at this idea, even showing off a video making fun of the sparkly-vampire-filled series. It's going to be bloody, mature, and filled with extremely violent hand-to-hand battles. The characters will just be well-dressed during these fights, that's all.
Besides that, however, information on the new title was kept intentionally scarce, and will likely continue to be scarce for the rest of the year. McDonough said that the news from Fanfest was the last we'd hear for a while as the developer goes back to working on the M-rated MMO. And with no release date or window in sight, we would be surprised to hear anything new anytime soon. In the meantime, check out the footage above, which is an early look at an empty city, showing just how impressive the visuals are, even this early in development.