Publisher: Kalicanthus Entertainment
System Requirements: Windows XP/Vista/Win7, 2 GHz CPU, 1 GB RAM, DirectX 9.0c, Nvidia GeForce 6600 or better graphics card, 10 GB hard-drive space
Release date: April 2010
I’d imagine that just about any MMO developer you talk to would say that the primary focus of their team is to “build a better mousetrap.” The goal is not only to attract a solid subscriber base, but also to hold onto that base long enough to recoup any investments and, with any luck at all, eventually turn a profit. Sure, there’s something to be said for artistic integrity, but that doesn’t change the bottom line: the goal for an MMO is to make money. If it also happens to be an MMO with a rich backstory and some diversions from the regular formula, then that’s all the better.
Craft of Gods might just be that game, and while I could take the easy way out and pigeonhole it as “just another,” there are a couple of key points that give it the potential to stand by itself. Keep in mind, however, that this preview was done during a four-day period on a beta-test server, so I can’t really give you all the details on the late game, guilds or group play. Level 10 was our cap, and even then I didn’t make it anywhere close. Many features were still awaiting implementation, some quests were bugged, and even some graphical elements were missing. Still, I did come away with enough to satisfy anyone with a curiosity too great to wait until CoG’s planned April release date, if that’s any consolation.
The story of Craft of Gods takes place in the land of Akvilon, a world based on Slavic mythology, after the creation of existence by a benevolent god and the war that has raged because of a jealous evil. Thus, Akvilon is divided into two opposing sides; the light side (Avi), and the dark side (Navi). Each side has three playable races, and while both contain their human selections, there are also races based on reptiles, bears and wolves, because apparently to be Slavic means to have a belief in werewolves. Who knew?
On a broad scope, what possible subscribers can expect from Craft of Gods isn’t all that removed from what’s familiar to most MMO players. You’ll be taking on the usual quests for kill and collection, harvesting resources for crafting professions (of which two of the existing eight can be chosen), and participating in dungeon runs with guildmates. There are also mounts available, but instead of a set stable of choices, practically anything large enough to be ridden can be trained as your own. This means that anything from a cow to a giant scorpion are possible, although developer Cyberdemons suggests factoring the speed of the beast before you start charming away. There’s a lot of ground to cover here, after all, with 25 large zones that span the climate gamut (deserts, forests and icy plains), so being sufficiently mobile is important.
And while having the ability to train almost anything as a mount diverges a bit from the standard blueprint, where CoG veers off the most is in the demigod department. What, your game doesn’t have a demigod department? Well, this one does, and it works like this: on specific PvP maps, opposing guilds will duke it out for control of one of 12 towers, each of which is under guard by a powerful boss. Whichever guild conquers said boss will then take control of the tower, and the boss will respawn and defend on their behalf. Should a guild manage to conquer all 12 towers, the leader of the guild will be promoted to demigod status. Those who reach this height will then be able to access powerful spells and craft unique items for guild members, so everyone involved can share the spoils of victory.
Unfortunately, my time was too short and the build was too incomplete to fully explore that and other possibilities in Craft of Gods. I will say that there’s promise outside of the daily grind, which is good news for gamers. Still, it’s one of those “time will tell” scenarios, I’m afraid, as nobody can be certain it’ll be enough to attract players from their established norms. The second beta event will be announced shortly, however, so anyone that likes what they’ve read here can always head over to publisher Kalicanthus’s site and register.