The necromancers have returned en masse to break the barrier between life and death. The Soul Assassins and Star Guardians must work to foil the plots of these foes or risk the very fabric of reality tearing asunder.
The Casual MMORPG is an MMO with a linearly-scaling power system. Similar to the Rift soul system, player characters steal the souls of magic users or martial artists to gain their powers and abilities. These are then focused against the necromancers who are attempting to destroy the boundary between the living world and the underworld, which would give them supreme power over both.
The story of the game is set in a great valley, where a pair of mountain ranges borders a civilization fed by crops and animals raised off of the waters running down from the mountains and fueled by magical orders of various types and powers. For most of history, these peoples and magic users have lived in virtual ignorance of the necromancers, Star Guardians, and Soul Assassins, knowing only vague, hyperbolic myths about the existence of such wielders of power.
The centers of society lie in fixed places, but towns can pop up wherever tributaries of the many small rivers meet. These towns and cities live mostly in ignorance of the Soul Assassins and Star Guardians, but they know trouble is afoot as many new and mysterious adventurers keep popping up.
The valley is roughly divided into three territories: an empire to the north, in the treacherous hills and badlands; a kingdom in the southeast, near the river delta; and a republic in the southwest, in gently rolling hills. Each of these nations has a large capital city. The major magical and martial orders each have a presence in these capital cities, whether it be a central hall or spire, in the case of the elemental council, or simply a large number of members, such as the non-magical.
In these centers of government, players can come together to form either a new town, via a town charter, or a new guild, via a guild charter. A town must have a physical location, which is chosen when the charter is turned in, but a guild does not.
Players who subscribe to the full game for a monthly fee can create an Adventurer, or upgrade a Socialite (see below) to Adventurer status. Adventurers take on the role of Soul Assassins, and, while hiding their true nature, steal magic, powers and abilities from NPC magical and marital orders in the fight against the necromancers.
Levels and Souls
Characters progress through 20 levels gathering souls of the various fighters and magic wielders of the world. Starting at level 1, characters receive a point of focus each level they can put in souls they have stolen. They are restricted in their allocation only in how many points of focus they have. A character may have any number of points in an number of souls.
There will be as many as 40 souls available to steal and utilize, each with its own abilities, that are divided into four classes: damage diversion and mitigation (tank), damage infliction (dps), healing, and support. When they spend their first point of focus, they choose a soul to be their primary soul; additional points of focus may be spent in as many other souls as desired. Abilities and damage scale with character level, not soul focus, and so virtually any combination should be playable. Points of focus in a soul are spent on a variety of abilities that depend primarily on the class of the soul, and the more focus spent on a soul the more abilities upon which to spend focus become available. If a player spends all 20 points of focus on a single soul, they unlock a special ability called the Keystone. This ability is a reward for specialization to offset the loss of damage and tactical variety offered by spreading focus amongst multiple souls.
Abilities, Health, and Mana
When allocating points in a free zone (see below), players choose a main soul. This determines the basic mechanic for the character's combat actions (e.g. a pyromancer casts fire spells and a swordsman swings his sword) including his pool stat. Each soul has its own abilities that require powering from a pool stat. A pool stat can be mana, energy, or rage, and each soul has its own pool that depletes only from its own abilities and regenerates on its own (or, again, from its own abilities, in the case of rage). Secondary souls provide damage type variation or augmentation to the main soul's attacks.
With every point of focus spent in a soul, the player gains health. This health is not tied to any soul, however, and as the character approaches death, all souls and abilities remain available, assuming the character possesses enough points in his pool stat. Like everything else, health scales linearly, though equipment and buffs may augment it further.
The flow of combat in the Casual MMORPG depends heavily on the placement of combatants on the battlefield. Souls are organized by where they find themselves and how they affect this flow. Diversion souls focus on grabbing the attention of monsters or otherwise getting damaging attacks directed onto them to mitigate the damage received by allies. Damage souls come in melee and ranged varieties. Melee damage souls aid diversion allies in physically preventing enemies from reaching ranged ally combatants while dealing them substantially more harm than their diversion counterparts. Ranged damage souls attack enemies from a distance, either behind melee allies or using special utility abilities to maintain distance. Healers keep their distance, typically in the vicinity of ranged damage when in a group, and reverse or negate the harmful actions of enemies. Finally, support souls have the most diverse range of abilities, allowing them to supplement the other souls, while especially excelling in none. When the battle is going well, they provide active and passive buffs and may deal damage or heal allies. In a pinch, if an ally of another role falls, they may temporarily acquire abilities to allow them to fill the hole.
Diversion souls center around preventing allies from sustaining damage from enemies and focusing incoming attacks on themselves. What damage they do deal is purposed at keeping an enemy's attention rather than directly defeating him.
- Illusionist - Wizard that produces phastasmal creatures and copies of himself and party members to divert enemies' attacks, effectively negating them.
- Abjurist - Wizard that produces shields to cover party members. Shields reduce damage to party members and/or redirect damage to the abjurist.
- Dark Hand - Wizard that redirects magic attacks directed toward him back to the caster or to other enemies.
- Judo Master - Martial artist that redirects martial attacks directed toward him back to the attacker.
- Boxer - Martial artist that taunts and attacks to demand attention, and then dodges and blocks to reduce damage.
Most souls are focused on dealing damage to enemies. They have little, if any, self healing or damage mitigation, though each has a number of abilities, called utilities, that may be used to help shape the flow of combat.
To ease mixing of souls, the talents purchased with focus follow a template, and when a soul is secondary it supplies the main soul with a set of augmentations that also follow a basic outline, though the details will vary. The main soul provides the base attack, and secondary souls add damage types and additional strength.
Every five points of focus spent unlocks a new attack. This attack is determined by the primary soul, e.g. a pyromancer's level 1 attack is Fireball and his level 5 attack is Ring of Fire. If the character possesses a sufficient amount of focus in another soul, however, this attack may be swapped for that soul's equivalent attack.
- Pyromancer - Fire Elementalist - Ranged magic - A classic wizard, the pyromancer conjures and manipulates magical fire. Attacks and abilities take the form of instant-cast spells.
- (1) Base attack: Fireball - The wizard hurls a ball of conjured flame at his foe. Additional damage types appear as different colors of flame swirled within the whole.
- (5) AoE: Ring of Fire - Creates an expanding ring of fire centered at a chosen point.
- (10) Signature move: Fire blast - The pyromancer conjures flame directly on the target, ignoring line of sight requirements.
- (15) Signature AoE: Meteor Storm - Summons a storm of meteors centered at a chosen location that lasts for 15 seconds. Must be channeled.
- (20) Keystone: Flame body - The wizard conjures anthropomorthic flame and sends it to attack his enemies, dealing significant damage to all enemies near it.
- Hydromancer - Water Elementalist - Ranged magic - Another classic wizard that channels the tumultuous forces of the waves through casting spells to defeat his foes.
- (1) Base attack: Ice bolt - The wizard conjures ice and mystically launches it toward his foe. Additional damage types appear as streaks of different color through the ice.
- (5) AoE: Tidal wave - Launches a wave of water from the caster in a chosen direction, harming all enemies in its path.
- (10) Signature move: Freeze -
- Keystone: Whale-slap (Call of the Deep)
- Signature AoE: Geyser
- Utility 1: Water jet - Knockback+stun
- Zephyrite - Air Elementalist - Ranged magic. Uses the magic of her dance to move the air.
- Base atk: Razor wind
- Signature move: Dervish
- Keystone: Curse of Icarus - Throws target high into the air and slams them down.
- AoE: Dust storm
- Signature AoE: Tornado
- Combat Utility 1: Zephyr's wings - Leap back 20 feet
- Warlock - Ranged magic. Summons malevolent spirits and dark energies to damage foes.
- Base atk: Shadow bolt
- Signature move: Bane - Summons a malevolent spirit to strike the foe.
- Keystone: Shadow-word Hate - The warlock channels the hatred of tortured spirits in a burst into the target.
- AoE: Séance - A swarm of banes is summoned to assault foes.
- Signature AoE: Tendrils of darkness
- Utility 1: Impify - Foe is transmogrified into a harmless imp.
- Sonomancer - Ranged magic. Uses sound focused through finely crafted tools, gems, and magic to harm foes.
- Base atk: Tonal pulse
- Signature move: Wail of the Banshee
- Keystone: Resonance
- AoE: Sonic wave
- Signature AoE: ???
- Earth Elementalist - Melee magic.
- Dominator - Melee magic. Directly: removes the will of enemies to fight by forcing his own will through by touch; indirectly may turn lesser foes into a temporary pet to fight for him, but this takes all of his focus.
- Monk - Melee magic that empowers martial attacks with body Chi.
- Base atk: Chi punch
- Signature move: Roundhouse kick
- Keystone: Flip kick - Knocks target back several feet.
- AoE: ???
- Signature AoE: Flurry of blows
- Golem Builder - Melee magic. Summons and controls golems that he sends into battle to fight for him.
- Base atk: Summon/Possess Golem - Slam
- Signature move:
- Ranger - Master Archer - Ranged martial.
- Ninja - Knife Thrower - Ranged martial.
- Base atk: Throw
- Signature move: Precision strike
- Keystone: Shadow strike - Teleports the ninja behind the target and auto-stealths.
- AoE: ???
- Signature AoE: Shuriken volley
- Utility 1: Stealth
- Pikeman/Javelin-Thrower - Ranged martial.
- Base atk: Long strike
- Signature move: Javelin toss
- Keystone: ???
- AoE: ???
- Signature AoE: ???
- Barbarian - Melee martial.
- Base atk: Hack 'n' Slash
- Signature move: Bone crush
- Keystone: Cleave
- AoE: Slice 'n' Dice
- Signature AoE: Whirlwind
- Rogue - Melee martial.
- Base atk: Sneak attack
- Signature move: ???
- Keystone: Death strike
- AoE: Dagger storm
- Signature AoE: Poison mayhem
- Utility 1: Stealth
- Druid - Melee martial that takes the form of different animals.
- Base atk: Swipe - Druid assumes the form of a tiger until it takes a non-combat action or another druid form.
- Signature move: Rend - Druid assumes the form of a tiger until it takes a non-combat action or another druid form.
- Keystone: Heart of the Wild - Druid assumes the form of a werewolf until it takes a non-combat action or another druid form.
- AoE: Maul - Druid assumes the form of a bear until it takes a non-combat action or another druid form.
- Signature AoE: Frenzy - Druid assumes the form of a bear until it takes a non-combat action or another druid form.
- Beastmaster - Melee martial. Fights through pets he may summon and dismiss.
- Swordsman - Melee martial.
- Purger - Wizard that burns away harmful damage, healing substantial damage from an individual or moderate damage from the party.
- Soother - Wizard wielding the refreshing power of water to heal wounds and poisons.
- Sister of Thespa - Wizard that bends the very magics of life to cause the body to heal itself much faster than usual.
- Acupuncturist - Martial healer that throws needles and slaps pressure points to redirect a target's chi to heal himself.
- Voodoo priest - Transfers damage sustained by party members to inanimate objects of the character's choice.
- Faerie King/Queen - Summons groups of faeries to swarm around party members to heal their wounds with Fae magic.
- PURCHASE ONLY Unicorn - Tongue-in-cheek functional duplicate of the Soother, the unicorn uses sparkles, rainbow-magic and the power of friendship to refresh their party-mates.
- Psychic - Magic user that produces auras and personal resonances to enhance the magical abilities of the party or an individual.
- Shaman - Summons spirits to enhance magical and martial abilities of the party.
- Bard - Uses magic based in music to buff and heal companions as well as harm foes.
- Warlord - A special soul that provides buffs to groups of players in the proper formation, and may empower souls by transforming their abilities into more powerful versions.
- Soul Assassin - Damage/Healing - Damages opponent by stealing part of its soul. Heals self and others by converting the soul into healing energy.
Being a casual game, building a character should be easy, and experimentation encouraged. Characters begin play with one build. Whenever they enter a town or protected settlement they can rearrange souls and focus points in any build freely and without costs of any kind. Additional build slots may be purchased with in game currency. In the field, characters may switch between builds, but they may not rearrange points within a build. The one exception to this is when the character gains a level; this point may be spent in the field and adds to the builds in which it is spent.
Focus points gained with level are spent on souls' talents. These talents vary between souls, but they usually follow a template based on the class's role in a party or raid group. For every five points of focus spent in any number of souls, a new attack from the primary soul becomes available.
- Basic Single-Target Attack (1)
- Basic Area of Effect Attack (5)
- Signature Single-Target Attack (10)
- Signature Area of Effect Attack (15)
- ??? Attack (20)
(*) Only available after 20 points have been spent in the one soul.
All abilities are cast or performed the moment a button is released (or otherwise a command issued; in WoW parlance these are instant cast). Certain of these are continuous, meaning they will be cast repeatedly until canceled. Others are single-use and cast only once upon command.
Damaging abilities come in two types: instant and damage-over-time (or DoT). They can also be single-target or area-of-effect (AoE). To maintain linearity, AoE abilities spread a certain amount of damage across their affected targets (how this is divided depends on the ability, and how much compared to single-target abilities still needs to be determined).
Because of the incredible variety of soul combinations and build possibilities, the probability of armor dropping from a monster that's good for the character(s) that killed it is very low. Luckily, this can be partially solved by a creative and partially dynamic crafting system.
There are two main facets to an armor/weapon in game: the material it is made of, which restricts who can use it, and the boosts it gives to the wearer's stats. Recipes can be obtained through questing, as monster drops, purchased from NPCs, or purchased on the market. These detail what armor/weapon can be made from what classes of physical materials (see below for explanation of classes of materials). This is where the recipe ends; it does not specify the boosts that that armor provides to the user's stats (if any). That is determined by how the materials are enchanted using magical reagents. These enchantments then translate into magical boosts for the final item.
Materials are grouped in the general classes that are used for recipes. In a particular class the materials are ordered in a hierarchy by skill level required to use them. The higher the level of the material, the more powerful the enchantments it can hold.
The magical reagents used to enchant physical materials also fall into a hierarchy, but theirs is more fluid. Collections of lower-level reagents can be combined to make higher-level reagents. The highest-level reagent can then be broken down into exactly the number of lowest-level reagents it takes to combine up to that one highest-level reagent.
Materials that have been enchanted or full pieces of armor and whole weapons can be salvaged to regain some or all of the raw materials that went into their creation. Physical materials are salvaged in pieces, where 5 pieces of the material can be combined to form 1 of the usually gathered resource (e.g. 5 Pieces of Hide makes 1 Hide). Magical reagents are recovered directly (e.g. if it takes 3 Flash Dust to enchant the armor, 1-3 Flash Dust may be recovered from salvaging it).
Players who just want to join the MMO for the social aspect can create characters with limited functionality called Socialites. Anything a Socialite can do can also be done by an Adventurer, but there are many aspects of the game only Adventurers may access.