Soul Master Overview
Soul Master is a new-style action MMORPG which is based on dungeon challenges and combines RTS elements, and also contains amazing storyline, very cute characters, as well as a fantasy gaming world. Players are able to control as many as dozens of Souls and even let them make up an array when fighting monsters.
The game is set to be released in China, North America, South Korea and many other parts of the world, and Japan is just its first destination. Soul Master published by Arario in Japan is slated to launch its OBT on December 14th in Japan. In the meantime, a promotional trailer has been released to showcase the new game content and theme song.
The trailer shows the new instances, new souls and new skills to be available in the upcoming OBT. Additionally, the game's theme song " Special Link", performed by Aira Mitsuki × Saori@destiny is included in the trailer. A variety of events relating to Aira Mitsuki × Saori@destiny will be held in the game when the OBT begins.
Soul Master's Japanese Official Site: http://soulmaster.arario.jp/.
Key Feature in Brief
Soul Master is an MMORTS which is a merging of two genres: MMORPG and real-time strategy. How it functions is that you're in direct control of your character, like in an RPG, but at the same time your character is able to control an army of other units called "Souls". Creating buildings that produce your units or ones that provide defense, progressing through tech trees to gain access to more powerful "Souls" with unique powers during matches, upgrading your units' abilities, and fighting over resources makes up the RTS (real-time strategy) aspect of the game.
Special Game Elements
The non-targeting combat system makes Soul Master more skill-based than your usual MMO combat. You can't just target your opponent and select "auto attack". You swing your weapon at the time and in the direction you click to strike. If the other player sees it coming and dodges out of the way, you miss. The system makes it more of an action game than a traditional MMO, and therefore much faster paced and exciting.
As for strategy, the depth of PvP literally will surprise you when you first got your hands on the testing client. You can upgrade your gear to provide stats that affect both the MMO and RTS aspects of the game, like faster character movement or quicker skill cool downs as well as faster unit production or stronger defensive structures. Wearing just one different piece of armor can allow you to completely change your play style from say a focus on quickly taking down an enemy character in 1 on 1 combat to a more conservative strategy of constructing solid defensive points around the map while building up an army of units behind it. Our players are definitely going to be able to develop some complex strategies and counters that would do a Star Craft tournament in Korea proud, and there's no higher praise for an RTS than that.
Both Instance and Mission-Based Game
The game is both instance and mission-based actually, with the majority of PvE content taking place inside instanced maps that have a number of different mission goals. These are made up of escort missions, boss raids, survival/defense, and invasion scenarios that can be done both singly and with a party. Quests can be taken from NPCs as well, and can apply to any of the missions a player takes depending on the specific tasks assigned for each quest.
PvP takes place inside individually created rooms, and once started other players can't jump in midway through a match. Soul Master also has a spectator mode which will let players come and go to watch other people's games and learn new strategies and tactics from each other.
The creatures seen in the trailer are the RTS units your character controls called "Souls". These are created during matches from buildings you can make using the resources gathered by capturing "Seed Points". More powerful "Souls" can be unlocked as your character gains levels and completes missions, and they can be permanently upgraded while in town and can also receive temporary improvements such as better defense or increased damage during an individual match.
Each of the races have their own unique types of "Souls", and each "Soul" has different special skills that can be used on cool down timers like charge attacks, bombardments, force shields that absorb enemy projectiles, etc. Your character's "Souls" must be created anew each match; however shortly after launch Soul Master will be releasing a pet system that will let you have permanent companions.
Interesting Game Mode
The "Challenge" missions and quests that make up the majority of the current PvE content have a number of different modes to keep things entertaining while players level. Certain Challenges include escort missions where you need to protect caravans, base defense and invasion missions, survival challenges, boss raids where you fight huge, special monsters, and a number of others. We're currently working on a system where players will be able to create custom maps and game play settings which is basically going to allow for infinite user-created content and some fantastic new modes and game play modes from the community that we're really looking forward to seeing.
The most interesting feature is how the various types of armor and weapons in the game and the specific stat upgrades placed on them will affect people's playing strategies. Soul Master being an MMORTS is unique in itself, and that allows for us to add in entertaining features from both the MMORPG and RTS genres in ways that haven't been done before.
In combination with the faster paced combat, skillful playing in either character or unit control at the right time can completely change the course of a fight and the entire match in only a couple of seconds. How to balance the RPG and RTS combat systems is a major task for our users. All of these are based on what players are going to come up with in the way of tactics and strategy backed up with their personalized combinations of stat bonuses that will make every character unique in how they play.
A new character-cultivation system to offer three directions and make team battle more exciting
there are three directions for the players to choose for their characters, including vitality, skill and auxiliary ability strengthening.As the character's development goes to three directions, the players' responsibilities in a team battle become clear. Together with all these Souls players can operate, the team battle becomes more exciting and strategic in the game.
This direction enables characters to strengthen their vitality and basic abilities so that they can gain great attack power.
This direction enables characters to own powerful and abundant skills to attack and confuse enemies.
Auxiliary ability strengthening
This direction enables characters to enhance their auxiliary abilities and defense so that they can withstand the attack from powerful monsters. Players who choose this direction should aim at cultivating their characters as a defensive and auxiliary role.
Option Enhancement System to create unique equipments
There are two kinds of attributes for each equipment in Soul Master: basic attributes and additive attributes. Even equipments of the same kind may vary hugely from each other if they have different additive attributes. This setting is also one of the features in Soul Master.
In the game, all equipments can be enhanced by using some specific items. However, before the improvements, it is very difficult to use this function because of the complicated process and conditions. Luckily, in the latest version, players have an easier way to enhance their equipments.
In addition to enhancement, equipments may also obtain special skills at random now, with the help of this newly-added Option Enhancement System. Through this system, players are able to create unique equipments for themselves.
Last but not least, the types of items have also increased. Some of them can only be obtained through specific quests; some of them can only be bought by the credits players gained in instances and usually, these instance items contain special abilities.
PvP Battles and Guild Wars
The heart of Soul Master is going to be in the PvP battles. No matter how complex PvE AI gets, it will never be equal to a skilled player without resorting to bending the rules of the system and in effect "cheating" so to speak. Such as the AI being aware of what goes on behind the "Fog of War" (the area of the map you shouldn't be able to see because none of your units have line of sight there). The development of effective strategies and tactics by players is going to be one of the most fascinating things to watch as the community grows.
A comprehensive guild war system will be developed, which will feature ranked matches and have some of the most powerful rewards in the game going out to the most skilled players. Increasing the number of players allowed in each match is another target in the future, so that eventually you'll be able to see entire guilds going after each other in a single, huge match.
The game looks fantastic on a higher end system of course, but it's been consciously developed with the average PC gamer in mind. Recommended requirements are anything around a Pentium 3 and 512M RAM, a Radeon 7000 or Geforce 4 graphics card, and 1G hard drive. However, lower end systems can definitely still run and enjoy it. If the demand is there for lowered requirements there shouldn't be any problem accommodating them down the line.