So what are Fractured Online’s Key Features?
Three Races, Three Planets
One of the ideas that intrigues us most about the title is how Fractured Online divides its races. Whereas in other games, your race is largely a superficial factor (with maybe a few unique quests or dialog options), your race in Fractured Online fundamentally affects your gameplay experience. Really.
Each race starts on a different planet with its own terrains, resources, and skills. Getting between these worlds is no simple or inexpensive feat. Most races will spend the vast majority of their time on their own worlds. But here’s where it gets really interesting, each race’s world has its own PvP rules.
The race of beast-like wildfolk live harmoniously and will only have consensual PvP. The world of demons will be the most hardcore, with full loot and full PvP (à la Mortal Online 2). Humans, by contrast, will be masters of their own destiny – will they pray to an evil god and become criminals? If so, they will likely end up paying the price in one of the player-constructed prisons.
What makes this dynamic particularly interesting is that players will have to abide by the rules of the planet they are on. If a peace-loving beastman visits the demon world, he will have to be prepared to live as a demon does.
Asteroids will be small, temporary, procedurally generated maps featuring open PvP. Members from each guild, race, and nation will flood to these asteroids hoping to capture their control points and rare resources.
A Progressive Progression System
MMOs can handle progression in a multitude of different ways. Fractured Online opts for a knowledge-based progression system built largely around skills and abilities rather than traditional classes. Should a player wish to be a hyper-specialised competitive class who can explore endgame content, they could achieve that in a number of weeks. But if they dedicated serious amounts of time to the game, it’s possible that they could unlock all skills and abilities in the entire skill tree – making them a jack-of-no-trades, master-of-all.
Equally interesting is how players unlock these skills, i.e. from the world and foes around them. For example, should they kill enough bears, they might unlock a sweeping “bear strike” skill.
Cities are run almost entirely by players, led by the cities’ chosen governor. They in turn will be part of broader nations. These governors will have a lot of control over how the cities are run, much more than in games like New World, where the city management system feels all too preordained and linear.
In Fractured Online’s city management, governors will dictate a city's direction, the resources it will specialise in, the buildings that are constructed, decisions on defences, and of course, taxation. Governors might choose to tax residents, citizens, and visitors at different rates.
Should tensions rise or greed overcome the leaders of these cities, there are a number of hostile actions that they can take against other player-led cities. As well as raids, the most exciting of these is a siege. Think of sieges as Shadowbane-style city to city conquests, complete with trebuchets and catapults that must be painstakingly built and transported.
Aside from some pretty epic sounding 30v30 PvP warfare, the preparations for war will also be fraught with tension and strategy. Should the trebuchets be taken through the main paved roads or the slower safer back roads? Will the enemy try to cut off our supply lines or steal our materials to weaken us in combat? Perhaps they will steal the very catapults themselves and use them against us.