In an interview with IGN, Signal Studios founder and president D.R. Albright III outlined the future of his company’s upcoming free-to-play RPG Ascend: New Gods. One point of interest is that the game will always require a constant internet connection, even if you’re playing single player.
As Albright explains, “almost everything is hooked into some kind of database that we can just save and export without changing the executable, even content we’re running off of title manage servers.” The game will constantly be referring to a server for information, and a user cannot be authenticated without a connection. The server will also be keeping track of Souls, an in-game currency that can either be collected in-game or bought with real money. The game doesn’t keep track of whether they were collected or bought, and having souls saved locally would be “very easily hackable.” As for whether or not you’ll need an Xbox Live Gold subscription, “that’s up to Microsoft.”
Albright also elaborates on the game’s open beta, which is planned for late spring. One of Signal Studios’ goals is to tweak the time spent collecting souls versus paying for them. They hope to get “as many people in as possible” to balance the game’s progression system in a live environment.
Signal Studios has a plan for Ascend: New Gods after its release; they “already have a schedule for six months of post-release content.” The game will ship with the Highlands area, with a desert wasteland called the Badlands coming three months later. A third area, the Swamplands, will follow. Ascend will release with asynchronous multiplayer, but PvP and cooperative modes are planned for later updates. Future updates may provide a chance to introduce female characters that will be absent at release due to production costs.
Ascend: New Gods is expected to launch in 2013, with an open beta coming in April or May. You can find out more about the game from our E3 2012 preview here.