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Midkemia Online is progressing

Friday May 16th, 2008

We often get asked about what is happening to the Online game that is being developed based on Riftwar, well here is your chance to find out as much as we know. I received today the following update from Jeremy Saunders - President of Iron Realms Entertainment.

Hello folks. My name is Jeremy Saunders and I am the new President of Iron Realms Entertainment. As I am sure you noticed, Midkemia Online has progressed very slowly. The main reason being that Matt Mihaly, the owner of IRE, is heading up a new company, Sparkplay Media. During this time, progress with Midkemia Online stalled. However, since taking over operations at IRE, I have made releasing MKO my main focus this year. Frankly, more progress has been made in the last 4 months then in the last 2 years.

My first order of business was putting two new developers in charge of the project; Eric Mikula and Deric Hicks. Both have been working on MKO from the beginning and have done a fantastic job thus far. They have written up a summary of what they are working on for you to enjoy, which I have included with this message.

One thing they do not mention is that we have begun work on the final website for the game and have commissioned Chris Bourassa to create some new, vivid imagery for the Midkemia Online. Without a doubt it will be some of the best Midkemia art you have ever seen.

Without further ado, let me introduce Eric and Deric who will give you a better update of game progress.

Jeremy Saunders
President of Iron Realms Entertainment


Exciting changes recently as we continue development of the game world and improving the player experience. Following is a brief summary of what we are working on and our plans for the near future.

Upon creation, players will be met with several choices to customize their character. Part of this is an extensive race system. At launch we will have five races broken into ten playable species. What race and species you choose determines your nationality and faction. Two warring factions make up the basis for conflict in Midkemia Online; the Kingdom and the Northlands. Humans and dwarves are composed of two species each and are members of the Kingdom. Elves are split into Moredhel and Eledhel, Moredhel belonging to the Northlands and Eledhel to the Kingdom. Troll and goblin clans round off the Northlands faction with two clans each.

The two factions consist of nations. Each nation has its own system of player controlled government. The kingdom humans are ruled by a monarch, with various positions beneath him. Natalese humans are ruled by a council of merchants. Elves are ruled by their Queen and a council of elders. We've created a system for each organization to control positions of leadership, creating and disbanding them as needed, without assistance from game administration.

For players who enjoy fighting, we've created a unique system of combat, very different from any of the existing IRE games. Combat will require you to manage endurance, utilize balance between attacking or defending, and choosing between accuracy and power to defeat your foes. This combat system is a unique concept and distinguishes it from most other text-based MMORPGs. Many other text-based combat games use passive defenses, where players "attack and react". For example, you respond to attacks by curing them reactively. Our system encourages - and indeed requires - that you proactively defend yourself from attacks, or pay the consequences. For example, skillsets created for rogues emphasize quick, accurate attacks, dodging and disrupting your enemy's motions in order to gain an advantage. Combat is based on the fundamental concept that you can't quaff a potion or apply a salve in the middle of heated combat in order to soothe your wounds, so you must logically prevent those wounds from occurring. In other words, injuries in Midkemia are serious business and cannot be easily recovered from.

In order to encourage the low-magic atmosphere - that wounds actually hurt, and you cannot spring back from a brutal assault - we've also incorporated a new concept for handling a player defeat in combat, called the death and defeat system. In other games, a player would normally die when their primary health source has been whittled down to nothing through attrition or their inability to defend.

In Midkemia Online, a player is defeated (instead of instantly killed) when they lose all health. At this point, the victor can either kill his opponent or seriously wound them, but let them live. Should they choose to kill their foe, no experience is gained nor lost and the vanquished will have to be returned to life. Foes that are not slain will be seriously injured and returned to a place of safety. Their wounds will restrict their ability to participate in conflict effectively until they have healed (Trying to do anything with a shattered leg is pretty difficult). This helps encourage an environment where death is discouraged and serious injuries are indeed ‘serious’.

Improvements have been made to the skillset system giving players more incentive to increase proficiency in their abilities. Becoming proficient with skills in Midkemia Online will mean more than simply gaining new abilities. As you gain proficiency, you gain new skills, existing abilities more efficient, your accuracy will increase, and you will do more damage and drain less endurance when using them.

Currently we're working on the new player introductions. Separate (though similar) ones are planned for each race. Players will learn how to communicate with their character, move, interact with the environment, view your surroundings, and more. It explains the political structure for your nationality, and your role in it. This will be your first glimpse into the world of Midkemia.

We plan to open the introductions to players as soon as they are done, allowing everyone to get a taste of what they can expect in Midkemia.

Eric Mikula and Deric Hicks
Co-Producers, Midkemia Online
Iron Realms Entertainment


It is envisaged that Midkemia Online should go live towards the end of 2008.

Jeremy Saunders
President of Iron Realms Entertainment


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