“Many eons ago, benevolent cosmic creators broke through the eternal darkness of primordial oblivion and carefully stitched together an expansive celestial multiverse in its place. The omnipotent divinity then called upon their beloved children, the Astrals, to safeguard the universe in their wake. Immerse in a vast open world of boundless opportunity through the eyes of these ancient spirits, and craft a legacy worthy of a place in the mythological pantheon.”
That is the brief synopsis of Wolfpack Game’s new title, Starkeepers. An MMO focused on both building and destroying structures, creating a peaceful world, and figuring out how exactly to make somewhere inhabitable. We at WePC had the opportunity to see an early build of Starkeepers in action and speak to the developers about certain elements of the game after the announcement of the game during IGN’s Summer Of Gaming.
Bashing Together a Base in Starkeepers
As the developer put it, “Starkeepers is a combat and action-packed multiplayer game set in a mythological realm where space and time magic has molded the multiverse.” It’s a game primarily focused on working with your friends to create a base called a Starkeeper which will constantly be under the threat of being sieged by other players. As an Astral, your job is to defend your bases from others and make sure that they can’t destroy what you’ve spent so long creating. Members of the team over at Wolfpack Games have worked on Warframe, Age of Conan, and more in the past, meaning that they’ve got experience in what makes an MMORPG tick and what makes a game like this last in the long run.
Of course, a game is nothing without gameplay, and we were shown a brief snippet of what to expect from Starkeepers. Combat-wise, it seems extremely similar to that of other MMORPGs. You use a weapon to perform one of two moves (a left or right swing), and that takes a chunk of your stamina bar, as does movement. It’s possible for your opponent to block your hits too, so it’s really a game of strategy and precision above all else. Each Starkeeper comes with a set of magic skills, with the ones we were shown things such as flame spells and ice spells. These are even linkable in combos to create an interesting series of attacks and to make it much more difficult for your opponent to block them, although your opponent CAN block your magic attacks too.
A Plethora of Building Options
When it comes to the building in the game, that’s a different beast entirely. You’re able to build structures such as a Laboratory, a Church, a Fort, and more after collecting an arbitrary amount of material from exploration in the open world. The Astrals then have to go out, collect resources and build the structure brick by brick, meaning that everybody has to pitch into some degree.
It’s a system that could get tedious if you don’t have a clan that’s willing to pull their weight and one that will be interesting to see more details on closer to release. The structures you and your team build are completely destructible, as the team shows by firing a series of cannon shots at a building. The building trembles and starts to collapse, and it’s up to the clan that built it to protect it in any way they can. It’s this system that opposing clans will use to try and set back your progress as far as they can so that they can lay claim to your resources.
Starkeepers Will Be Coming Soon-ish
Wolfpack Games isn’t quite sure what they’re releasing the game on or when they’re releasing it, but they’re hopeful, as the developer tells me: “The game is currently planned for early access at maybe the end of Q1 2023, possible the start of Q2. We’ve been in development for more than a year at this stage but haven’t been ready to reveal the game until now.”
“We’re built on Unity, which is relatively easier to accommodate cross-platform. We do have plans for release on consoles, although we’re not sure which one. We’ll have to start talking to the big three once we’ve announced the game. The combat in our game suits a controller very well, being extremely focused on combat and action.”
Starkeepers is an interesting concept and one that, if got right, could be a long-lasting mainstay of the MMORPG community. While it’s certainly one of the most difficult areas of gaming to have a game succeed in, given the rather dominant nature of games such as Final Fantasy XIV and World of Warcraft, smaller titles such as V Rising have weathered the odds in the past and became massive hits. Time will tell if Starkeepers is one of those games.