Two new professions and a new Japanese-themed area are on tap for EA's massively multiplayer RPG.
Electronic Arts has announced plans to release a new expansion pack for its 1997 role-playing game Ultima Online. The pack, subtitled Samurai Empire, will bring a new Japanese-themed area into the world, as well as two new professions to choose from.
The new ninja profession is, as you might expect, a stealth-based class that fights using magic. Skills for the ninja class will include an animal form, which lets you turn into an innocent-looking wolf or serpent in an effort to slip past stronger enemies. The mirror-image skill will let you create copies of yourself to confuse your enemies. And the smoke bomb will allow you to disappear completely.
The other new profession is a samurai class, which is focused on powerful melee techniques such as lightning strike, which is a high-powered attack with a 50 percent hit bonus. The whirlwind skill causes a samurai's power to increase depending on how many enemies you're fighting, and execution is a deadly attack that has a chance to kill an enemy in one hit.
In addition to the new land and new classes, home building will be enhanced with new Asian-themed decorations. You can start with a basic dojo and work your way up to a castle. Quests in the game will have new Japanese-inspired items as rewards, including house tiles, clothing, weapons, and armor.
Ultima Online: Samurai Empire is currently scheduled to ship in November of this year. For additional information on Samurai Empire, read Andrew Park's first look at the game.
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