MMOs are a strange genre without many of the clearly-defined borders for something that is or isn't a part of the field. Not surprisingly, there's a lot of innovation in the field that's confined strictly to the absolute edges of what could be considered an MMO. Games such as MAG and Global Agenda feature several shooter conventions mixed with several MMO conventions, and it's an interesting formula. Land of Chaos Online is pushing the formula as well, by adding in third-person shooter elements to a Defense of the Ancients-style match format.
The game is on the outer edge of the genre, but it draws much of its gameplay and feel from Loco Gold MMOs, with a strong emphasis on coupled character persistence and more shooter-style elements. We caught up with Achim Kaspers, managing director of Burda:ic, during GDC to talk about what the game would play like and get an idea of what we could expect. More information on this unique game after the cut.On the one hand, the game plays similar to a shooter in many aspects. There's no targeting function, with the game instead using a free aiming system similar to shooters. It also doesn't allow free character customization or creation -- players choose from a set of pre-defined heroes, with roughly fourteen available for each faction (an initial set is available with further heroes being unlocked). Even more to the point, death allows you the opportunity to switch your hero, giving rise to recollections of Team Fortress 2 in terms of gameplay. All of these elements push the game further in the direction of being a straight-up shooter.However, the game is targeted more at the MMO audience, and it has several things pushing in that direction. While your character's levels are earned over the course of a match, your available skills, heroes, and items are persistent as gameplay continues. That means that while you may not have a single character leveling up to max and staying there, you have a wider selection of Loco Coins options as gameplay continues. And there is a strong set of item dependency, with items dropping upon successful completion of a match and allowing you to get more of an edge in future battles.