Project Gorgon is a new Massively Multiplayer Online Game brought to you by Eric Heimburg and his wife Sandra Powers. Eric Heimburg, Project Gorgon creator and lead developer, has over a decade of experience working as a Senior and Lead Engineer, Developer, Designer and Producer on successful games such as Asheron’s Call 1 and 2, Star Trek Online and other successful Massively Multiplayer Online Games. Sandra also has extensive experience working as a Producer on Asheron’s Call 1, Asheron’s Call: Throne of Destiny, EverQuest II, and EverQuest II: Echoes of Faydwer.
I've been playing this for the last week and while it's still a very early (and ugly) version of the game, it's already an absolutely fantastic sandbox rpg packed with tons of interesting features and skills. There are no classes and no levels, you learn skills by doing- grab a weapon and start hitting things and you'll get better at using it, doing more damage and learning different attacks. Grab a knife and you can skin animals for crafting materials, butcher them for meat, or perform autopsies to learn how they died and how to be more effective at killing them. Get killed yourself and learn how to better avoid death in the future. Get turned into a cow and learn how to become better at being a cow (seriously, there's a cow skill).
- If you're on fire, you can jump in a lake to put it out. That kind of real world touch can have a subtle effect on your strategies – especially when you’re fighting a fire mage!
- You can drop items on the ground, and other players can pick them up. What's so great about that? Imagine laying down a trail of literal (virtual) breadcrumbs to lure one of your friends into the woods.
- Shopkeepers really keep inventory, so you can buy the items other players sold them. Want to help out the newbies? Sell your cast-off uber weapons to the shopkeep in the newbie zone and watch them go to town.
- Each non-player character (NPC) you meet has their own goals and interests, and rewards players that choose to be their friend.
- You can inscribe messages on items, write books, even leave notes for other players. Make your name as an in-game poet, or just record your best kills on your sword.
- You can discover "words of power" and then say them in chat to activate their magic.
- Skills are all intertwined in interesting ways. Want to be the best swordsman ever? Practice your calligraphy to get better hand-eye coordination with the sword!
- A unique dual death-penalty system. Explore the world without fear of death, but when it comes time to fight boss monsters, you'd better take it seriously!
- Want a scarier game? Customize your death penalty. Why should a game only have one death penalty, anyway?!
- "Behavior badges" recognize what you do in game. Want to be a vegetarian? Okay, just don't eat meat! Pacifist? Fine. Refuse to wear helmets? Sure, okay. The game recognizes these things, and many others. Players can see it on your character sheet. You don't get anything special for it -- just recognition of your choices.
- Battle Chemistry: Create huge explosions! Inject yourself with mysterious mutagens! Program a pet golem!
- Unarmed Combat: Grapple and control enemies using a situational-aware combo system that varies based on where you are and even what day it is.
- Animal Handling: Tame animals and train them to become ferocious fighters. Then breed your best and sell their offspring to other players!
- Necromancy: Seek out corpses and graveyards to raise your army. No graveyard around? Well... there's always the corpses of your friends...
- You can learn as many skills as you can get your hands on... but sometimes, power comes with down sides.
- You can become infected with lycanthropy and gain access to very powerful skill sets. Roam the world in a pack and wreak havoc! But come the three days surrounding the full moon (the real-world full moon!) you'll be stuck in your beast form. New opportunities come open, but others close. There is no cure for lycanthropy.
- Becoming a druid gives you great power, but you have to vow to drop everything when there's a natural emergency, be it a forest fire, a monster invasion, even just an insect pest. And nature doesn't let you shirk your duties. Ever.
- Summoning arch-demons also has a down side... well, you get the idea. Characters slowly become defined by the choices you make and responsibilities you accept.
- Taking this idea to another level, you can unlock special playable races, each with their own pros and cons.
Most of that stuff (and lots more that isn't listed) is already in the alpha version of the game. The kickstarter is mostly focusing on updating the graphics and art assets, fleshing out existing skills, and adding some more complex systems like player housing and guild functionality. The devs have said that the game will be buy-to-play upon release, but will have an optional subscription model that will reward subscribers with in-game currency they can use to buy cosmetic items and mounts.