The present matters deeply for Heatwave Interactive. Gods & Heroes: Rome Rising went into Open Beta status on the eve of E3 and the game is being fine tuned as we speak for it's upcoming release. This is EASILY the largest project in the history of Heatwave and a lot is riding on its success. That being said, when I spoke to Tim Schubert, Lead Designer for the game, it is clear that the future is in their sights.
I spent the better part of 45 minutes with Tim on Tuesday on the E3 show floor, and the entire time we looked at, and spoke about, primarily elements of the game coming after launch:
- Auction House System - The AH system will not be ready for launch time. It is almost complete, but the team really wants to make sure it is implemented correctly. Tim showed me where in Rome the Auction Houses are going to go and gave me a really clear picture of how they feel an AH will work in the economy of Gods & Heroes. You can expect the AH system to be included in the first major update on the game post-launch
- Crafting - The economics of G&H will be drop based for awhile as crafting will not make it to release. But it is a priority and Tim explained that they are trying some different things in crafting to try to make the system stand apart from other MMO's. Crafting is #2 on the Heatwave's short list and you should see a very robust and interesting system of tearing down drops as well as the potential to create "raid quality" gear.
- New Classes - When Heatwave acquired the title from Perpetul, they obviously found many systems and elements in various stages of completion. This included 2 classes that while not making it to launch, are most certainly on the development teams short list. A "scout" (think marksman/archer) class and a "nomad" class (a hybrid class) are both in the works and should be expected after the AH system and Crafting have been put in place.
- PvP - Tim was very passionate when we talked about their plans for player versus player in Gods & Heroes. Ancient Rome is a fantastic setting for PvP and when it comes to the game Heatwave wants the blood and passion of Rome to be a centerpoint of the title. Look for Gods & Heroes to have a very full and exciting PvP system - including estate sieges/defense (don't worry, Tim told me you won't loose your home!)
- Level Cap/Associated Content - The game will launch with a level cap set to level 30 but that certainly doesn't mean that is where the content ends. Tim walked me through a number of unreleased zones and boss fights that are set for well beyond the level 30 cap. The plan is to go from 30 up to 40 fairly soon - with a number of great new zones and boss fights. The team has content at various stages of development up to level 50.
So as you can see that is a pretty great short list from the team at Heatwave. While admittedly a lot of these features are items we generally expect from a top tier MMO at launch, it seems clear that Tim and his team would rather make sure they do it right than rush a half-baked system out the door.
For more information on Gods & Heroes: Rome Rising, and to get involved in the on-going Open Beta test, or to pre-order the game, visit http://godsandheroes.com/ Special thanks to Tim for sitting down with me on a hectic Day 1 of E3!E3 2011: The Future of Gods & Heroes With Tim Schubert,