Mortal Online

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Mortal Online
Mortal-Online-logo.jpg
Developer(s) Star Vault
Publisher(s) Star Vault
Engine Unreal Engine 3
Terrain - Grome
Platform(s) Microsoft Windows
Release date(s) June 9, 2010
Genre(s) MMORPG
Mode(s) Multiplayer
Distribution DVD and Digital Download

Mortal Online is a First Person, Open World, PvP/PvE Sandbox MMORPG developed and published by the Swedish independent video game company Star Vault. Mortal Online was released on June 9, 2010. The game is inspired by the desire to return to Ultima Online's player-controlled, sandbox-style game design; it uses Epic Games' Unreal Engine 3 and features a skill-based, real-time combat system.[1][2]

Mortal Online does not have a traditional level/class system, but rather a skill and attribute system similar to the Elder Scrolls series.[3][4][5][6] There are ten different races for the player to choose from, including an orc-human hybrid, five human races, two elf-like races, and two dwarf-like races.[7] In order to experience multiple possible playstyles, players can have up to four characters per account (increased from three in December 2012).[8]

Development[edit]

In October 2010, approximately four months after its official release, Mortal Online's game engine was rebuilt, making it possible for its developers to implement better graphics, increase performance and introduce advanced features which were previously not possible on the older engine.[9]

In June 2011, the game's first expansion titled "Dawn" was released. It introduced graphical and performance improvements; new features like the need to eat, drink and sleep; health, stamina and mana "reserves", a gene system for mounts, changes to the riding and related mechanics, a task system which allows players to create quests for others to do, a new housing system, character skills, world interactive objects, new pick-able resources including a wide selection of plants, a in-town mail system with cash-on-delivery to ease player trading and an updated game launcher.[10]

The deployment of Dawn suffered many technical issues, leading to extended server downtime and certain game features being disabled directly after the release.[11] Additions such as the gene system and cooking were initially poorly received by some players, especially cooking as raw food is better than cooked food for in-game purposes. This, combined with early balancing issues, lead to extensive weight loss amongst player avatars which in turn cause attribute penalties.[12]

In September 2011, Star Vault formed a "Focus Group" - essentially a test and early feedback group for upcoming releases and patches.[13] Members of the group are active players that have signed a non-disclosure agreement with Star Vault. The purpose of the Focus Group is to augment Star Vault's limited internal resource and act as an additional quality assurance level before new releases and patches reach the general playing audience.[14]

In late August 2012, the game's second expansion titled "The Awakening" was released which promised notable new features like trade brokers, player-written books, revamped GUI, the unveiling of Tindrem, roaming guards of varying ranks, advanced AI for NPCs, illegal items, additional skills and a host of other improvements and fixes.[15] Star Vault advised the community ahead of time that the expansion deployment would suffer from problems,[16] and have released a number of patches post-launch.[17][18][19] The expansion introduced a multitude of bugs that affect the game's mechanics, performance and stability.[20]

In late November 2012, Star Vault began to offer a "Free to Play" option. Restrictions to free-account players include a limitation of 60 (of 100) in all skills, restricted looting and trading of rare objects, and the inability to make use of thieving skills. In addition, new accounts must pay to unlock additional characters slots while legacy accounts retain all characters and character slots they made use of prior to the Free-to-Play change.[21][22]

Gameplay[edit]

Overview of skills and attributes in Mortal Online

Mortal Online has both PvP and PvE content, with the design focus on PvP. The lack of working AI limits PvE, something SV has promised to address in future patches.

PvE, Crafting, and Exploration[edit]

Other than robbing, dueling, and killing other players, players can craft weapons, shields, armor; build houses, keeps, and palisades; hunt and butcher animals for use in crafting and cooking; tame animals; mine and ultimately refine rocks into precious metals; train their skills; or explore. Player-built structures can be attacked and destroyed by players, and certain wild animals that have been tamed can also be mounted, including horses and rhino-like creatures called Molva Beast.

Flagging System[edit]

Concerning the PvP content, Mortal Online has an FFA (Free-For-All) PvP system, with consequences for killing other players in the form of “flags” which range from, among others, blue (innocent) to grey (criminal) to red (murderer). Being a criminal in Mortal Online (also known as being locally or globally "allowed") means that other players can either attack you without being flagged themselves, or can call the NPC guards on you in certain towns. Doing certain offensive or aggressive actions in the game will also flag the offending player "allowed", for example getting caught pick pocketing or simply pushing another player too many times within a short period of time.[23] When a player dies, all of the items in their inventory drop to the floor in a loot bag, which is loot-able by all other players and disappears over a long period of time. Starting with the Dawn expansion, the loot bag also includes the corpse and the head of the player.

Nudity, gore and brutality[edit]

Players that do not wear armor or clothes are completely naked. Naked players are a relatively common sight, either because they choose so or because they were killed and have not had a chance to restock. When killed, the player loot bag includes a corpse and a named head. Corpses can be consumed, butchered or cooked. The heads can be collected as trophies or eaten. Occasionally, heads of well-known players are offered for sale on the game's official forums. Butchering a corpse yields materials including skin which can be used to craft clothes.

Player-made Content[edit]

Guilds can maintain their own keeps and palisades, and can contest control of certain cities. In addition to activity caused by player interaction, in-game events are triggered by developers and gamemasters, with examples such as a sudden, unexpected infestation of a town or area by giant spiders, zombies and undead creatures or wildlife such as springboks.[24][25][26][27]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ "Features". Retrieved 2011-07-08. 
  2. ^ Phil Penman (2009-06-09). "Mortal Online: Combat Overview". Retrieved 2010-02-24. 
  3. ^ "Attributes and Skills Overview". Retrieved 2011-07-08. 
  4. ^ Mike (2009-03-20). "Mortal Online Preview". Retrieved 2010-02-24. 
  5. ^ tovin (2008-05-28). "Mortal Online Skills and Attributes". Zam. Retrieved 2010-02-24. 
  6. ^ "Mortal Online Overview". TenTonHammer. Retrieved 2010-02-24. 
  7. ^ "Races". Retrieved 2011-07-08. 
  8. ^ "FAQ: Can I have more than one character on my account?". Mortal Online. Retrieved 2010-02-24. 
  9. ^ "Patch Notes v 1.3.0.0 - New Build Release". 2010-10-08. Retrieved 2010-12-22. 
  10. ^ "Changelog - (Dawn Expansion) Version 1.50.00.00". 2011-06-09. Retrieved 2011-06-16. 
  11. ^ http://www.mortalonline.com/forums/64110-server-maintenance-complete-08-07-a.html
  12. ^ http://www.mortalonline.com/forums/67014-big-problem-food.html
  13. ^ http://www.mortalonline.com/forums/67269-focus-group-live.html
  14. ^ http://www.mortalonline.com/forums/66846-testers-needed.html
  15. ^ "Awakening patch notes". 2012-08-20. Retrieved 2012-08-28. 
  16. ^ "Awakening is upon us!". 2012-08-07. Retrieved 2012-08-28. 
  17. ^ "Awakening Patch Notes 23/08/2012". 2012-08-23. Retrieved 2012-08-28. 
  18. ^ "Awakening Patch Notes 24/08/2012". 2012-08-24. Retrieved 2012-08-28. 
  19. ^ "Awakening Patch Notes 28/08/2012". 2012-08-28. Retrieved 2012-08-29. 
  20. ^ http://www.mortalonline.com/forums/threads/the-real-awakening-mega-thread.77046/
  21. ^ http://massively.joystiq.com/2012/11/29/mortal-online-is-now-free-to-play-with-a-video-to-prove-it/
  22. ^ http://www.mortalonline.com/news/now-free-play
  23. ^ "Server patch 2011-03-30". Retrieved 11 August 2011. 
  24. ^ "Attacks in Vadda and Moh-ki". Retrieved 11 August 2011. 
  25. ^ "Races". Retrieved 2011-07-08. 
  26. ^ "Locations". Retrieved 2011-07-08. 
  27. ^ "Stories". Retrieved 2011-07-08. 

External links[edit]