Saturday, 31 October 2009

EVE clone with a hint of MechWarrior on the horizon

In the world of gaming (and not only) you know you're doing something right when others start copying your concepts.

There are tons of more or less successful Command and Conquer clones, tons of WoW clones (even if I have a deep dislike of everything WoW represents, I have to give Blizzard credit for giving the people what they want)

Now there's a game on the horizon that so closely resembles EVE game design that my only reaction when I saw it was "Damn...". The name of the game is...

Perpetuum Online (website)

The creators are a Hungarian company called Avatar Creations. The theme of the game - piloting mechanized vehicles (Mechs) in a sandbox environment very much like EVE.

At the time of this writing, it is in closed Beta, with release scheduled for 2010.

The Basics of the Game

The player is an Agent of one of the three Megacorporations of Earth (reunited in what is called the Syndicate) some 200 years in the future. The plot takes players through an artificial wormhole (sound familiar?) to planet Nia, a life-supporting world some 87000 lightyears from Earth.

Each Megacorp has its own agenda for the exploration and exploitation of Nia... and then there's the locals. Split into 3 factions, the locals are to be NPC's as far as I can tell.

Mechs and Combat

Here it all gets very, VERY familiar. The Mechs in Perpetuum have attributes quite similar to ships in Eve. Here's a short list of attributes in EVE, and their counterparts in Perpetuum:

  • Maximum targets (same meaning in both)
  • Targetting range (same meaning in both)
  • Sensor strength (same meaning in both)
  • Capacitor (EVE) = Accumulator (Perpetuum)
  • Signature size (EVE) = Surface hit radius (Perpetuum)
  • CPU and Powergrid = CPU and Reactor Performance
Weapon classes are the same as in EVE - Firearms (Projectile weapons in EVE), Magnetic weapons (Hybrids in EVE), Lasers and Missiles. Hit and miss are determined by the target's speed, by your guns' tracking and by the target's surface hit radius.

One thing however is different in Perpetuum, and that's WASD control of your craft. EVE doesn't have it, possibly because it creates very high  server loads. Since Perpetuum promises to be a single sharded universe just like EVE, we'll see how the developers handle that.

By the looks of it, well-versed EVE players should have no problems adapting to Perpetuum. Simply jump in, fit a mech and it's business as usual.

Here's a trailer I managed to find, featuring what the game would look like:

Decent graphics, given the fact that this trailer is from February, and since then the GFX engine has received an update, they say.

Industry, Manufacturing and Commerce

Again, this part will look pretty familiar to the knowledgeable EVE industrialist. Gathering resources is done in more-or-less specialized mechs, manufacturing requires a factory slot, blueprint (called patent, off which  manufacturing licenses are obtained) and a set quantity of minerals.

The market however will probably be more limited than in Eve. One will not (atleast for now) be able to sell items for prices differing by more than 25% from the average price. This is a severe limitation, but I hope it gets revisited.

So... what's different?

Well, as I said before from what I've noticed, this game will have WASD controls, the lack of which seems to be extremely frustrating for newer players of EVE which come from other MMO's.

The designers also promise destructible environments. There's even a video of that:

There is a Game Guide on the website, a work in progress by the looks of it, but it can certainly allow you to form a better view of what this game is about.

Summing up

At first glance, Perpetuum looks promising. Probably not so much to the hardened, bitter EVE veteran (myself included, but hey, I'll try everything once... I might like it) for which Eve is like a religion, but it certainly will look attractive to the people for whom EVE was a bit much. On the other hand, to be fair, EVE was a much simpler game at its beginnings... It is only fair to assume that Perpetuum could evolve into a game of comparative complexity, given enough tim

I for one would be quite pleased if Perpetuum would also adopt the cold, dark "shoot you in the face if you make a wrong turn" atmosphere we are so used to in Eve.

I signed up for beta testing whenever it comes out of closed beta (which should be "Soon", heheh...), so when/if I manage to get my mitts on Perpetuum I'll certainly give it a thorough look and report what I found.


  1. The devs in Avatar are friends of mine who've been deeply involved in the demoscene (like I am also). I've played an early beta of the game with the old graphics engine and it's very interesting! If you're fond of mechs then this game will definately make your heart rejoice.

    For gameplay footage with the new engine check out this video:

  2. Part of what drew me to EVE was the hyper-configurable ships that was so much like MechWarrior.

    EVE really is the only place where I can find a non-transient world that is affected by the creations I build and my piloting skills. I'm excited to see a new competitor to the space, but I don't see it gaining much traction.

  3. Well, I got accepted for the closed Beta...
    Took me about 15-20 minutes to get used to the interface, but I got the hang of it quite quickly.

    Spent the next 2 hours or so killing meaningless rats in my noobmech (which I've upgraded with "standard" gear - read T1 :P). Saving up to buy an assault droid or whatever it's called :)