RedBedlam, a game developer based
in the U.K., has announced that the status of its ambitious MMORPG
will move to commercial testing in May 2005, which is roughly equivalent to late beta testing.
Roma Victor, a PC-based game for the Windows platform, is a
non-fantasy MMORPG set in Europe at a time circa 180 A.D., which is at
the beginning of the reign of the infamous tyrant, Emperor Commodus.
Commodus, whose rule marked the beginning of the end for the Roman
Empire, is struggling to face threats from within and without the
Empire. Unfortunately, he is an untalented and cruel leader, which
leads to even greater problems. It is against this backdrop of
unfolding chaos that the player is invited to join.
Roma Victor is set in a virtual world which attempts to replicate the
physical and social characteristics of reality in the second century.
The game will be set in a half-scale replica of Europe with
historically accurate topography. Realistic phenomena, such as weather
and equipment wear-and-tear, will be incorporated into the game.
Players will be expected to handle life-like problems, such as making
sure that their characters get enough practice at their chosen skills.
Since it is a non-fantasy MMORPG, humans will be the only playable
race in Roma Victor, and there will be no overt magic in the game.
Instead, the game developers intend to attract players with a diverse
array of cultural venues and geographical settings. For instance, the
player's character can be a Roman subject or a barbarian from places
like Britannia, Gaul, or Germania. There will also be a variety of
gameplay ranging from standard RPG fare - such as PVP fighting - to an
extensive skill tree that includes occupations like farming, pottery,
or tracking. In principle, a gamer could role-play in Roma Victor
without ever picking up a weapon.
An unusual feature of Roma Victor will be its lack of subscription
fees after the initial purchase. Instead, the player may purchase
in-game money, called "sesterces," which will be used to supply the
player's character with the necessities of virtual life. The player
is not obligated to buy sesterces, however, because there will be ways
to earn in-game money from within the game. The sesterces that a
player buys will be inversely proportional to the amount of time that
he or she is willing to spend earning in-game money.
More information about Roma Victor can be found on the
official game site.
The final release date is currently unknown.