This article was written by Isaac Nandgavkar, a cofounder of www.blockchaingaming.com.
A player-centric Free-to-Play fantasy MMORPG
Ember Sword has been in development for the past 3 years and is set to launch in early 2022. It is being built with a state-of-the-art engine developed internally by Bright Star Studios, providing immense flexibility in terms of mechanics.
The concept of a blockchain-based economy will be a crucial element of the game for both internal and external market interactions. In-game assets including but not limited to land and cosmetics will be in the form of non-fungible tokens (NFTs) that can be “truly owned” and transferred P2P. Read in-depth about blockchain and NFTs in ES.
The underlying platform used will be the Polygon (Matic) network, a highly scalable layer-2 of Ethereum. The concept of player-centric, as per the developers, means that the game won’t be a “pay-to-win” MMORPG but instead heavily skill-based. The developers have released plentiful information regarding the lore, gameplay, skills, screenshots, the world environment, etc. via their website and community Discord.
Prologue: Once an advanced, colonized moon of the interplanetary government of Pangaea, all was changed for Thanabus when a godlike entity called Starzhen triggered an apocalyptic event dubbed the “Catastrophe”. In the wake of the devastation, the survivors rallied around the young pupil of the late Governor and created a provisional government called the Republic. Hundreds of years later, its rule perseveres, yet new forces have risen and challenge its rule over the northern hemisphere.Around every corner, unseen machinations are afoot and there are more questions than ever before.
Welcome to Thanabus: The year is 3460. Thanabus has recovered significantly from the Catastrophe 235 years earlier, with vegetation having been restored and the population continuing to recuperate. However, law and allegiance are tenuous concepts, with the common understanding being that everyone is a scavenger to some extent, as reflected in the makeshift reality that the humans on the moon live in. All quite literally live by the sword. Technology and capability have effectively been knocked back to Earth’s pre-Industrial Revolution era, with minor exceptions. Denizens of Thanabus utilize the natural resources of the moon, as well as the scraps from their past heritage and Starzhen’s remains. The dominant government is the Republic, based out of Skyder, the capital built from the grounded retrofitted chassis of the eponymous terraforming device that crashed into Ediseau decades prior.There is but one faction that is an enemy of the Republic: the Damned, based out of Sevrend. This syndicate uses their underground status to effectively coordinate attacks reliant upon guerrilla tactics against the Republic. While the Republic resolves to a new dawn – indivisible and united – the Damned believe in Pangaea being reborn once more.
Four nations & characteristics
Solarwood (complete lore)
Solarwood is a sunny region with characteristic features such as forests, hills and farms along with ancient structure remains. Such characteristics lead to abundant vegetation and water bodies. A good region to master skills of woodcutting, gathering and fishing.
Duskeron (complete lore)
Duskeron is an arid region with characteristic features resembling a desert. It is a wild region where the players have to survive by scavenging and fighting off robots. Nevertheless, a good region to master skills of hunting, mining and combat.
Ediseau (complete lore)
Ediseau is a cold region with characteristic features resembling the arctic tundra. Albeit not abundant with forest, the region is rich in ores and wildlife. A good region to master the skills of mining, hunting and *uhmm* ale drinking *for survival purposes*.
Sevrend (complete lore)
Sevrend is a jungle region with characteristic features such as dense fauna, wildlife and minerals. It is filled with obsidian and black glass rocks along with exotic life. A good region for mining, hunting and combat.
Gameplay & the World
Player-owned land plots
Ember Sword is player-driven to its very core. That means you as players even help shape the world you live in. On your own land plots, which are limited by nature, you can place various buildings and attract players to come to play. The land plots are surrounding the four major cities of Thanabus (the moon we live on).
The land in ES will be one of the NFTs in the game’s economy. The total number of the available land plot will be 160,000 divided into various types (split into four nations).
There are 4 different types of plots – Regular, Settlement, Town and City. There is one other type of plot i.e. the Capital (1 for each nation) but the exact information is not available yet.
– The most basic plot which makes up most of the terrain.
– No custom buildings are possible.
– Potential traits: Mineral deposits, monster spawns, cave/dungeon entrance, small NPC building, campsite.
– Player perks: % revenue in a 20×20 region for blockchain transactions, the title of Sir/Lady.
– The 2nd tier plot
– Custom buildings: Small player housing, Small guild house and Small player store.
– Player perks: % revenue in a 20×20 region for blockchain transactions, the title of Baron/Baroness.
– The 3rd tier plot. This plot is sold in a bundle of 4 (2×2) plots from the official sale. However, they can be divided and treated as 4 individual land NFTs.
– Custom buildings: Everything from Settlement, Refinement stations, Crafting buildings, Medium guild houses and Exchange.
– Player perks: % revenue in a 20×20 region for blockchain transactions, the title of Earl/Countess.
– The 4th tier plot. This plot is sold in a bundle of 16 (4×4) plots from the official sale. However, they can be divided and treated as 16 individual land NFTs.
– Custom buildings: Everything from Settlement & Town, Large guild houses, Portals, Caravan trading posts and more!
– Player perks: % revenue in a 20×20 region for blockchain transactions, the title of Duke/Duchess.
– One ‘Capital’ per nation with 100 (10×10) plots each.
– No more information is available yet.
PvE and PvP
There are three types of zones: Kingship, Wilderness and Outlaw
- Outlaw Zones
Outlaw zones are free-for-all PvP & PvE areas where you travel to collect the rarest resources, slay high-level monsters, or fight other players. Point-of-Interest PvP to conquer and protected camps in these Outlaw zones will see you teaming up with your guild or group of friends in fierce fights against other players. But be careful – dying in an Outlaw zone means losing most of your gear, much to the joy of your opponent.
- Wilderness & Kingship Zones
In Wilderness and Kingship zones, you gear up to help your friends defeat mighty open-world PvE bosses, or venture into the dangerous world as a lone wolf to defeat thousands of monsters and beasts with your trusted weapons and abilities. If you prefer PvE, you can acquire even the best items through resource collecting and crafting, but for those daring to engage in PvP, the rewards are plentiful, making the risk worth it.
ES features skill-based combat, which even rewards you if you’re in a tight spot. The more enemies you hit with your spells, the faster you regenerate mana. This makes fighting 1 versus 3 not entirely impossible, but still very difficult. The game features many skill-based shots, but also comes with targeted spells so that you and your party can set up epic combos if you coordinate well.
Ember Sword is a classless MMORPG. That means you do not pick a class when you start the game. In Ember Sword, you can do exactly what you want, whenever you want. You’re not locked to a specific class, weapon type, or crafting profession. You are in complete control of your own journey on Thanabus.
There are 16 skills that will be released right off the bat viz. Mining, Lumberjacking, Fishing, Skinning, Harvesting, Smelting, Tanning, Weaving, Woodworking, Armorsmithing, Weaponsmithing, Jewelry smithing, Cooking, Melee, Ranged, and Energy. Training skills unlock new advancements such as increased efficiency, new craftable items, new abilities tied to specific weapons, or new resources to harvest. If you wish to be the strongest one-handed swordsman, you grab a sword and go to combat! Over time, you will become stronger. The skill levels are capped at 100 points each.
Thanabus is rich in materials and offers a variety of different ores, fish, wood, and alike to gather. Among them are some very rare and expensive materials. The gathering is simple – pick up your mining pick and start mining, over time you’ll be able to mine some of the rarest ores!
The game promises an AI
overlor… eh.. game-master which will utilize the players around to build new experiences every single time resulting in a challenging environment.
Ember Sword promises an absolute separation of in-game economy and blockchain economy to prevent any sort of pay-to-win element.
The blockchain assets in the game are broadly divided into two – Land (as discussed above) and Cosmetics.
The cosmetics, as the name suggests, will not provide any advantage on the progression of the character. These assets are NFTs which can be gained in-game by performing various tasks including completing objectives, beating a boss, collecting resources, etc. They can also be traded onchain against $EMBER token/coin (more info on the token to be released later).
Cosmetics will be limited in number and have several tier levels. They include skins, avatars, emotes, mounts, pets, etc.
The economy of land is simple as in any blockchain item transaction (drop/buy/sell) happening in a 20×20 grid surrounding your land will earn you % of the fees. Different tier lands have different weight of % fees i.e. regular plots have the lowest weight while city plots have the highest. To learn more in-depth, you can read the official article: The Vision of Ember Sword & The Land Sale
The game is designed in a popular yet unique style of graphics resembling an isometric world with strong and vibrant colours and smooth textures. Following are some screenshots of the game. Check out their youtube channel for more insights – Pre-alpha footage.