Ah, yes, Shadowbane. The massive multiplayer online
role playing game that time seems to have passed by.
Some of the lesser informed on this title may ask, "why do you say
that?" Well, Shadowbane hasn't exactly been a speed-demon in terms
of the progression of development towards a foreseeable end. WolfPack
Studios has been taking some serious time on their gem project, and
as many expecting fans of the game will say, all for the better.
One thing, however, is certain: after showings at multiple Electronic
Entertainment Expos (E3s) and constant community hype, waves will be made
with Shadowbane is sent out into the world from its publisher, Ubi
Shadowbane, from it's announcement back in 1999, has been claimed as
a strict departure from conventional MMORPG atmosphere. Initially stressing
less accentuation on familiar concepts, such as skill-building (read:
Fishing, Basket-Weaving...you get the idea), Wolfpack promised that Shadowbane
will follow a strategic-centered concept.
Much of that claim remains to this day, as the beta closes and release
looms on the proverbial horizon. Players who were captivated by intricate
scenes of combat with vast armies of individual players and siege engines
are still as entranced with the possibilities as ever.
Users will not simply be tossed into a collective digital medieval fantasy
melting pot, but will be engaged in an intricate balance of alliances,
power, and warfare unparalleled or proposed by any known title in the
massive multiplayer genre. Players will play as people in a war-torn land
where the world of men is crumbling, and the 'All-Father' has turned his
back on his people in the coming darkness. Warlords and monsters rampage
across a realm where the sun has become but a distant memory.
Due to what Wolfpack calls a "Dynamic World Model," players
will immerse themselves in a world where anything is possible. They can
quest alone, or pledge allegiance to a large faction, or start their own
group with unique agenda. Kingdoms can rise and cities will fall as vast
armies battle for influence and dominance over a shattered world. The
ink of history is fresh, and the pen will be put in the hands of those
with the strength, determination, and initiative to obtain it.
Powergamers and cheaters will find it tough to avoid the hand of justice
in Shadowbane. A list will be available to players to document offenders,
along with options for miscreant players to be killed on sight or hunted
down by bounty hunters. Anonymity is non-existant in the game, effectively
removing it as an option for misbehaving users to employ. The official
website summarizes all this well enough to quote: "Tools such as
grief log, kill on site list, bounty hunters, no anonymity, and player
locator greatly enhance player accountability."
All in all, when Shadowbane debuts in the expected fourth quarter of
this year, all of these factors conglomerated will create a massive multiplayer
experience unparalleled as of yet. RPGamer will keep you posted of further
information on it as the release date approaches.