After concentrating its time for the past few years on making train simulation games, Australian developer Auran introduced their upcoming fantasy MMORPG Fury at last month's E3. FiringSquad got a chance to chat with the game's producer Paul Whipp to find out more about their plans for Fury.
FiringSquad: First, how did the idea for Fury come about?
: For some time I had been wishing that I could play a game where I would customize my role play characters more freely and prove them in an FPS style arena combat. When I met the guys at Auran games who were already talking about making a sword oriented multiplayer combat game, I knew we could work together to build a great MMO game that would fulfill my dream.
FiringSquad: What can you tell us about the fictional backstory for the game?
: In Fury you play as one of the Chosen. You are a reborn hero and have little memory of your past lives. The world you are born into is a shattered universe that has been almost destroyed. The Artisans who clothe you and help you recover your memories need you to go out into the remains of the universe. There you must fight chosen from other sanctuaries and bring back Fury, which is the elemental essence, that they are using to try to rebuild the universe or at least save the sanctuary in which you reside.
FiringSquad: This game seems to put the emphasis on action and combat against players. Why did Auran want to move in this direction?
: Because itís fun and exciting. We wanted to create a game where we remove the intimidation of competing against other players but retain and increase the excitement of knowing you are fighting against other human players.
FiringSquad: What sort of player races and classes can people expect in the game?
: All players play as human characters in the game. There are no restrictions on the way in which you can develop and customize your character.
Likewise there are no class restrictions. Players will naturally specialize their advancement to suit their playing style and they can choose to learn any ability or wear any equipment that they like so long as they have the points to equip it.
The potential complexity of having so few limitations is avoided by the use of incarnations and archetypes.
Incarnations allow players to set up a configuration of abilities and equipment for a particular game type or role and to instantly load or customize that configuration between battles. Thus I could have a rogue incarnation that I use when playing with my guild mates and a more rounded paladin type character that I use when playing with pick up groups.
My selection of abilities and equipment is effectively constrained by the combat system. I need to take in abilities and equipment that will work well together. Of course if I get it wrong I can immediately change it. I never need to start another character because Iíve made bad decisions early in my characterís advancement.
There is an archetype or derived class associated with each incarnation a player chooses. This is a label determined by the abilities equipped that helps other players identify what sort of abilities the player is using. This is further complemented by the fact that particular types of armor offer the best bonuses for particular schools so, for example, the top healers can be identified by their leather armorÖ unless they go in disguise in which case they pay a small penalty in terms of their healing bonuses.
FiringSquad: What can you tell us about the weapons and magical combat system in Fury?
: Fury balances magic and melee combat with melee generally focused on taking a lot of damage and dealing damage to single targets and magic generally focused on dealing damage to multiple targets.
We have an incredible range of weapons and equipment in the game with randomly generated items creating an almost endless variety.
When players kill people in battle, the system will generate loot drops based on the archetype and rank of the corpse (note that no one actually loses equipment - loot is created by the kills).
The combat system itself will be instantly familiar to players of MMORPG games but it has added depth that becomes more important as you increase in rank. In Fury there are four elemental forces: fire, water, air and nature. All abilities are aligned with one of these elements. Some abilities will charge the player up in their aligned element and others will consume charges. Thus I would have to have four fire charges on me to use my fireball ability. Decisions about whether to consume charges or not are interesting because while you are charged in an element, all abilities of that alignment become more effective.
As you advance in the game you will discover that the elemental forces are opposed. For example a basic heal charges in water and if you have fire charges on you, not only will the heal be relatively less powerful but it will also negate one of the fire charges Ė you canít be charged in fire and water at the same time.