Welcome back to the party. Today I’d like to reintroduce you all to a free to play MMORPG that’s been in development behind the curtains for a little while, called Ember Sword. This is a isometric action game being developed by Bright Star Studios, set in a dystopian universe with a classless progression system, and seems to focus more on the sandbox side, than traditional MMORPGs. Right next to New World, Lost Ark, and Corepunk, this is definitely in my top 10 upcoming MMOs with potential, that I’m really hoping can get some success. First thing I’d like to break down is what this game is similar to. As I said it is free to play, so usually the first question on people’s mind would be – what do they monetize and what does it give you.
They utilize what is known as block chain technology, and they have a great deal of information available as to why they use that and what exactly it is. In simple terms, this is what happens. A big chunk of the game’s monetization system revolves around the cosmetics, and the pixel currency. From what I’ve learned, when the game releases you’ll be able to buy it & cosmetics from them, or earn them in-game either through PVP, Play vs E mechanics like world bosses and possibly others in the future, their optional monthly subscription, stuff like that. When you get these cosmetics, you’re also able to trade them with other players in-game, or outside the game. And this is what they put a huge emphasis on, the currency you can use to buy this stuff is called Pixel. You can use it for cosmetics, or to pay for the optional subscription itself, which includes cosmetics, extra bank space, exclusive titles, stuff like that. similar to how PLEX works in eve online except this game doesn’t require a subscription to play. Anytime a transaction is made, like for cosmetics, Bright Star takes a fee from that and I’m assuming they’re able to turn that into profit. Now if you want to sell 1your cosmetics outside the game, they will have a way to do that too.
Apparently how this works is similar to if you wanted to sell knife skins from counter strike, or something from dota, on the steam marketplace. Except in this case, you could do it with real money, and through a legit way. They do it this way because they want players to be able to take their collectibles, no matter how rare, and have a true value that they can get from them, without having to break TOS to do it. It’s important to note that you cannot buy or sell anything that would give you power in the game. Seems to be strictly cosmetic, can’t buy higher tier gear, can’t buy tools, or weapons, anything like that. And I’ll get into how the progression system supports this in just a second. These cosmetics have a limited amount every time they come out, and there should be new ones every month.
After the new month arrives, the previous ones are never sold again, and they do have a limited amount. Which makes them more rare over time. They also have an artist shop where people can design cosmetics to submit , and the community can vote on the best ones to have those actually become a part of the game. And anytime those get sold or bought between players, the artist gets a commission for that as well. For The Weapon System – From what I’ve learned so far, they’ve talked about three different types – melee, ranged, and energy. From that selection, so far I’ve seen mention of swords, staffs, greatswords, and bows. For their armor system we have heavy, medium, and light armor. And you can mix and match. Alongside that, each armor type will provide bonuses depending on what you’re wearing. For the usable slots we’ll have, we got Head, Chest, Gloves, Legs, and Boots – along with cosmetic slots like Capes & Hats.
Now if you need something to compare this game to, it reminds me of Albion Online. I’ll get into the crafting and gathering professions in just a second, but first let’s start with the world itself. Ember Sword takes place in a land called Thanabus, in Thanabus the world is currently split into 4 different regions, each with their own specific biomes. Inside these regions, there are 3 different types of territory – Kingship, the PVE zone that focuses on land ownership, resource gathering, questing, etc…
Just like a green zone. The second is Wilderness. Think of this as the wilderness in Runescape. This one has primary Player vs E areas that are rich in resources, monsters, and NPCs. But – you can attack players from opposing regions – if they wander into this territory and start gathering resources. From what I’ve learned so far, if you die either here or in the next zone we’ll talk about, there will be penalties but what exactly happens is still undecided. Open World bosses can also spawn in the wilderness and kingship territories, so if you get there first, most likely with a group or guild, you can take it down and get some cosmetic rewards. Now the third territory is the most dangerous, and sits on the outskirts of each region, this means if you want to travel between them, it sounds like you’ll be going through this. This is the Outlaw territory. These areas are filled with rare resources, high level mobs, and most importantly, anyone you run into can be attacked, or can attack you.
Aside from world bosses in this zone – they have what are called outlaw camps. You can come to these and take these over, and then you can place buildings that are accessible to either you, your friends, or your guild. Have to keep in mind though that anyone can destroy your outlaw camp, but if you take it and defend it – you can also earn cosmetics through this too. Funny thing they mention during one of their Ember Sword podcasts – which I highly recommend checking out and got a lot of this information from, is that when you’re in a PVP zone with a guild and fighting with other groups. You can form parties and you wont do damage to them with your abilities or anything. But apparently – outside your party, you can still hit people even if they’re in your guild.
They brought up the example of Albion Online and how a lot of times, big fights like that might just turn into huge zerg fests. But here with a friendly fire mechanic, you have to be a LOT more careful. They did mention that we will have support abilities but they still haven’t decided yet on full support weapons. This segment made me laugh a bit though, because I do remember way back in Albion’s testing phases, where sometimes we’d have bugs where one person could tank like 20 people because of scaling issues.
Now back to the progression, our skill trees go from 0 to 100. As I mentioned before, leveling them up gives us access to new abilities, but also craft better gear, equip better weapon, collect better resources, etc… And these are the professions we have so far – for gathering and refining… We have Mining, Lumberjacking, Skinning, Fishing, Harvesting, Smelting, Tanning, Weaving, and Woodcutting… For crafting – we have Armorsmithing, Weaponsmithing, Firemaking, and Cooking. One profession that ties the economy together and promotes trade throughout the regions is the merchant caravan profession. Recently they talked more about this and how technically, they don’t have mounts currently but there is one that travels alongside your wagon if you do this profession. You are able to sell items on an in-game marketplace, and these merchant caravans can take resources from their home region to others for making a profit. The only thing that would hinder them is getting there alive, especially because it seems like you have to go through these outlaw zones.
For that, you could take the journey yourself or maybe even bring a few friends along. Since there’s no cap on how many players can fight or travel in an area, you might see some pretty big battles spark from this. And you could – if you want to , start fighting people right next on top of world bosses or you can work with them temporarily. One thing you don’t lose when you die, even in the outlaw zones is the cosmetics, so at least you don’t have to worry about that part. This game also does feature a land ownership system, and the plots can be bought with that pixel currency I told you about. The land itself seems to be located in the kingship territories, and apparently if you buy or own these plots, you can place whatever buildings, NPCs, and both resource plus monster spawn points you want to. And these are accessible to everyone that comes to them.
Because there isn’t an unlimited amount of parcels, these areas will change over time by default. And apparently people can setup market stalls in them and, as a landowner you get a cut for any transaction that’s made through them. And even if a boss gets taken down on your land, if it drops a cosmetic, everytime that cosmetic gets traded between players, you get a cut of that too.
This is a big part of the game though because it allows people to essentially design the kingship territories however they want. There will be cities we can go into, and accessible things there, but for the actual plots, you get a lot of freedom in their design. And the better you design them, or if they work really well with surrounding land owner territories, your land might become more popular among players than others. There’s a lot more detail to be had with this game, and I highly recommend checking out their FAQ, alongside the ember sword podcasts they do amongst the staff. But I just wanted to give a brief overview and reintroduce this title, partly because with the lack of MMOs and MMORPGs currently, I know a lot of people have been waiting for decent ones to show up. This one’s scheduled release is for 2022, but in terms of it’s alpha and beta tests, those could start as early as next year. Might be worth keeping an eye on, and they might just pump this one out faster than expected, they haven’t even done crowdfunding, and they were able to get a 700 thousand dollar investment earlier in April of this year. Which was also when they went from being known as So Couch Studios to Bright Star Studios. And when they got a new website, new gameplay video, and more staff.
Recently I spoke with the developers and they were even able to give me some exclusive footage to showcase, with this video I was making. Keep in mind this is a early representation, but it gives you a good glimpse into what you might expect from Ember Sword. Please enjoy, make sure to sign up for their Newsletter and check out their podcasts if you want to stay up to date, join their discord and say I sent you, and have a wonderful night or day.