If You Love MMOs, You Need to be Paying Attention to Worlds Adrift
Worlds Adrift is all about the physics. Bossa Studios' new MMO takes a shot at creating a physics based, truly persistent and gigantic game world. The player makes their way around the thousands of islands via grappling hook, glider and -- once the player can build them -- custom airships.
There will be few traditional RPG elements in Worlds Adrift, this MMO is meant to be skill and knowledge based. Players must start with a basic sailboat and a grappling hook, collect resources to build more equipment and whatever airship they can to get further into the world. Everything has real weight in the game and overcoming this hurdle will be part of the challenge.
On the surface, swinging around islands and cutting down trees that could fall and kill you looks like an absolute blast. Bossa Studios didn't stop there. Object's weight and momentum affect how much damage they do. Whatever metal the player crafts their cannon balls from will determine their weight, and how likely they are to rip through another ship's defenses.
Out of cannon balls? Use your ships grappling hook to grab a tree and launch it at your enemies. Feeling sneaky? Glide on board and salvage or steal a couple of their engines. When all else fails? Drop items from your ship onto theirs until they're so weighted down they crash and burn.
With this much care put into their physics mechanics, the possibilities (and not just for PvP) are endless. Crafting requires careful planning, so if you build an engine on a hill it will just roll away. There will be equipment that gives items weightlessness -- such as shipyards or transport devices -- but these will have to be crafted and can present their own problems. Applying enough force to something with several transport devices attached will send it shooting off into oblivion.
Speaking of oblivion, everything in Worlds Adrift is permanent. A tree that is cut down will stay that way. Abandoned cannonballs and ship parts will litter islands under recent air battles, until they are scavenged by other players or rust away.
Besides just being a really cool feature, Bossa Studios plans to have this as an integral part of the game. There will be a certain amount of game history when launched, but they also want players to create their own history. They've introduced equipment like cameras and frames, so that players can decorate their ships with custom photos of their adventures. If the ship is abandoned or crashes, or even if just a crate of photos falls off, years later another player could come across the wreckage and piece together a story.
Exploration and discovery are the focus in Worlds Adrift. It's a mix of procedurally generated and man made content. This allows for a giant world, but a way to progress through the game that makes sense. The goal will be to get from island to island and uncover the mysteries of Worlds Adrift.
But what's stopping me from taking my starter sailboat to endgame?
Making your way to new islands will sometimes require traversing different kinds of storms, and the only way to do that is to build better airships. This is so far completely design and physics based. If you built yourself a blocky, houseboat ship or used sub par materials, it will be unlikely to make it to through the storms that separate the world.
Getting to new islands allows the player to discover new tech to build better equipment -- and learn the history of Worlds Adrift.
If we'd like to speculate on some issues that Worlds Adrift might run into, it's not terribly difficult with such an ambitious title. The first and most likely is griefing. Worlds Adrift may be realistic to a fault, as there's not much stopping players with awesome equipment or creative ideas from stomping all over players that have just started. Their solution is to have a world large enough to allow escape, but there we have our next potential problem.
Player density is an issue Bossa Studios takes seriously, but they've stated there will be only one server per real world continent to supplement their ideas on community and player history. It will be necessary to maintain a massive world, in which a player is able to encounter other players, but is also able to still feel a sense of exploration. Their plan to keep their world at an ideal density is to stitch new islands on as the player base grows, but what will they do if it shrinks?
In any case, I've already signed up for the beta and will definitely be picking it up on its speculated 2017 first quarter release. I'm happy to put my trust in the studio that brought us I Am Bread and Surgeon Simulator.
Are you excited for a physics based MMO? Do you think it will be riddled with problems? Are you already playing the beta? Let us know in the comments below.