This upcoming massively multiplayer game will take place on an alien planet.
Saga of Ryzom is a massively multiplayer online role-playing game that has been in development for about three years at French studio Nevrax. Like other such games, Saga of Ryzom will let you create a single character to explore a persistent online world, fighting monsters and gaining power by obtaining fabulous treasures and experience levels from fallen monsters. However, while many such games take place in a world of high fantasy, Nevrax's new game will take place in an unusual hybrid sci-fi/fantasy setting where swords, sorcery, and futuristic firearms are all present and used by the populace to defend themselves. The game will take place on the alien planet of Atys, the home of four playable "homin" races.
Saga of Ryzom will have numerous options to create a customized character, including a great variety of appearance options: height, hairstyle, hair color, and different facial options, as well as race and gender. The game does not use a rigid character-class system, but rather, it defines your character by way of various skills, which include proficiency with various weapons and skill with the game's many schools of magic. You'll start your character by choosing an "action pack"--essentially, a preset template that contains minor bonuses to the game's many character skills, but any character can improve any skill in the game. It's a system that resembles that of Turbine's 1999 game Asheron's Call--in both that game and Saga of Ryzom, all the players could learn all skills and eventually raise their skills to the maximum level, but they would start off with various skill bonuses that helped to define a character and its abilities at the outset.
The game's modular skill system will afford you some options when on an adventure. For instance, if you have a sufficient number of skill points and a sufficient level of skill in the school of fire magic, you can customize an attack spell to launch a volley of fiery missiles, or you can send a single flaming blast at your enemies by choosing various parameters and properties that affect how your spells are cast. Since the game has a futuristic sci-fi element to it as well, you'll not only be using swords and sorcery but you'll also come across firearms like personal rocket launchers to attack your foes. The recently implemented area we saw was a stony, orange-colored desert where new players began their lives at a bazaar at the edge of the wilderness. They would venture out of town to pick fights with the local fauna. Eventually, players will fight large groups of enemies powered by the game's "invasion" engine, which can generate sizable companies of monsters on the fly.
Saga of Ryzom is already in an open beta state and is, as is often the case in such games, already receiving new updates. Recently, the developer implemented a new playable race, a new area to explore, and pack mules--controllable pets that carry your belongings, though these loyal beasts are vulnerable to attack by monsters. Saga of Ryzom is scheduled for release later this year.