The world is in Ruin. Ravaged by catastrophes, both man-made and celestial, the Earth still sustains some life…but not as it did in the past. Centuries after the apocalypse, the world as our ancestors knew it, is gone. There is no peace. War abides and strange beasts roam the land. Man, and his ways, have changed too. Diverse, and often opposing, societies cropped-up across the last inhabitable regions of the planet. A new era unfolds…
Amazing feats of technology, mysticism and pure survival highlight the rebirth of mankind and his cities. The generations that follow, emerge in a golden-age of growth, conquest and intellectual advances. Many believe this new world is the height of human culture and the peak of our power as a species. They believe that these strange new times have set us back on a path older than the oldest writings of man. These leaders preach a future where all factions are put aside and man can finally converge under one banner, seizing his rightful position as a galactic factor. Prophesizing that we yet again set out as neo-pioneers into the heavens, the most advanced of Earth’s societies have already established city centers in the upper atmosphere as well as space stations in geo and lunar orbits inhabited by emerging cities populaces and outposts.
Rarely do these people speak of the destruction left in their wake. Little is heard of the ongoing damage done by these so-called “civilizations of man” to his surroundings and its grave effects on his brethren. Legions of mutated, suffering plague victims inhabit the lands, half-dead and forced to feed on healthy humans to sustain themselves. These sub-creatures, as many consider them, are the true victims of the great catastrophe and remain so to this day. For this affliction, there is no easy cure, save death. Thusly, all of the human tribes share a fear and hatred of the Unclean ones and have often put political differences aside to purge the land of this shared threat. But they’re fighting an uphill battle – its not enough to push back the radioactive infestation from creeping into everywhere. The seemingly mindless horde surges ever outward leaving very few lying corpses in their wake. For, as the soldiers fall against the Unclean, they are often seem rising in a zombie state, joining the mutant mass and consuming the flesh of the countrymen they fought alongside moments before. Truth be told, no one knows for sure… Is mankind on the brink of its final days, or its most glorious age? Or both? Some even say there are other forces, far older and superior to man constantly at work behind the scenes, in the cracks of life as we know it. Those that truly know the stories of old and the where’s and when’s of now fear an unseen ominous force that, they say, is slowly dragging the Earth, over the course of eons, to a doom worse than any we have brought on ourselves.
These stories are nothing new. If you are reading this, you are a survivor – these are your stories. We retell them so we don’t forget, and so those that come after us know how it was. This is not the life known by our forefathers. And we pray its not the life we will leave for our children.
“We feel we have an important story to tell about human nature and consequences. In our remix generation it can be hard to tell a new story. But we saw a new story emerging all on its own. Man was predicting and creating his own destiny. War, weather, disease, asteroids, AI, aliens; we borrowed it all, and then made it happen. So basically, all the stories mankind had been telling were true...it was the story of our future. The world is left in Ruin.” Ari Rule – Lead Developer
The landscape of Ruin Online may not be what you expect from a post-apocalyptic title, but we’re here to surprise you. Sure, there are totally blown-out mutant laden regions with nearly uninhabitable atmospheres… But the planet has already begun to mend itself. Set mainly in the Middle East, hundreds of years after the Armageddon, the playable regions of Ruin Online represent what’s left of the Mediterranean Sea-board and its encompassing lands.
Race is not a factor in creating your character, since all players in Ruin are human. Instead you choose your character’s origin, i.e. the culture his/her parents came from. You start the game “Neutral” and can choose to seek out the homelands of your family and learn their ways, or skirt the edges of society learning only what you need to survive. Cultures of origin are embodied by the factions you can join, but you are not required to fight on the side of your birth culture. (You can also choose Neutral as an origin.) It’s basically up to you. There is a main war of two allied armies (Puritans and Zaibatsu Corp.) Versus their enemies: the Geno-Mod Army and the Scavengers. Participate in this war as you see fit, studying the ways of the culture you align with, or remain neutral abstaining from military advancement. Additionally, there are two more playable factions at war with all others on the map.
Ruin Online - Cultures (Factions)
Real-time, twitch, FPS ownage. Add in great RPG combat elements such as armor, DoT weapons , and defensive stacking and you start to get the idea. Ground combat consisting of melee, ranged-weaponry, mutant powers, mystic “casting abilities” and vehicular combat, the list goes on. Air and sea combat vehicles that interact with the ground game. The twitch-based melee combat is very fun and accurate; expect this to only get better! Because we are building a twitch based combat system, we are naturally more balanced than most MMORPGs in regards to PvP. Eliminate class restrictions and weapon certifications, but reward the well-trained player with special abilities. Need we say more?
There are very few pre-requisites to advancement in Ruin, though some are seen in the system. Which side of the war you’re on and how you like to play affect your character’s advancement. Additionally, you character can rank up, in military advancement, if you choose to actively participate in the factional war.
“From the moment you pick up an AK-47 and fire at a target, your character gains assault rifle experience points and his cone of accuracy gets tighter as he continues use…” Even before you “train” in a skill, your character can advance and gain points simply through use of the skill. This is tracked for all players and all skills, so when you finally meet a swords trainer, he may find that you are already well on your way through the advancement.
The skill system currently in place is set up to handle over 1000 individual skill lines, each with its own progression up “tiers” to mastery level, as well as special abilities associated with that area of skill. Special abilities (and special attacks), as well as decreased encumbrance, will be the main rewards for those that train. In a system where “everyone can do everything” we feel the skill mastery must significantly improve the learned player when compared to the untrained wielder. Additionally, factions (or cultures) will teach specialty skill lines, with some restrictions, that are permanently tied to that faction. Example: If a player learns a skill line from the Puritans and then leaves that faction, he keeps the skills, but may suffer consequences for using them in the wrong company. Skills fall into four main, or Fundamental categories: Offensive, Defensive, General, and Crafting.
Many ‘stat’ systems are in place, while as many are still in development. Expect to see some defensive stacking, and other such stat features, while retaining the natural balance of our game system. Fundamental and basic skills will often have stat modifiers that make the intermediate skills work better. Though you are not always required to learn the fundamentals before skipping ahead, you will often be sorry when you don’t take the time to study them.
There are no classes. There are only skills, masteries and obtainable titles. Totally open-ended skill templates or hybrids are possible, as well as elite-masteries.
There is a wide variety of weapon types available in Ruin with nearly 100 firearms and melee weapons currently equipable by players and NPCs. Guns are fairly common. Ammo, however, is scarce. (Dual-Wielding is expected this year which allows for firearm and melee weapon use simultaneously.) Players can level individually in skills tied to weapon type, as well as learn fundamental stills that will improve their weapon use. Players must “aim” just about any weapon they attack with. The exception to this are weapons with tracking systems, and certain spells and mutations.
Similar to weapon and defensive skills found elsewhere, Mutations are give special abilities, attacks, and defenses but with a cost of negative stats or effects elsewhere. Mechanically speaking mutations work as “specialty skills” one can learn (get infected with) via interaction with the zombie race (playable), The Unclean. Though reversible, these mutations must be hidden in the company of all other factions, as they are all enemy to The Unclean ones.
Mechanically similar to skills and mutations, Casting Arts play into the game essentially as spells that players can cast on each other. The origins of these powers are often misunderstood by inhabitants of the world, each culture with its own set of beliefs and justifications for what they and others do. It’s all about perception; only a truly advanced player will begin to glean the real facts behind what makes this world tick. These specialty skill lines are factionally tied to particular cultures and must be used carefully. Attack spells will use both twitch based aiming, and “fire-and-forget” targeting for certain attacks. Healing, elemental attacks, as well as movement and body augmentation spell lines will be learnable by all players willing to take the necessary steps.
Armor will be seen in the traditional MMORPG ways: body, vehicular and even structural armors. Armor will, or course, protect your player and property from damage, will require repair. Expect diverse armor options with few restrictions to who can use what pieces. Armor as well as all items with have a ‘weight’, or encumbrance value. This will effect how well your can move at anytime, as well as some other stats. Students in the use of certain equipment will get their encumbrances lowered through training, while an untrained user may have to drop everything else just to carry an armor set or chaingun pack.
Vehicles are currently used for basic travel and combat. Air vehicles can attack targets on the ground, just as players on the ground can attack targets in the air. With over a dozen vehicles live, expect many more with revamped physics and functionality in later 2006.
Though not in game yet for players, the basic crafting framework is in place. Count on simple to advanced recipes combining items that are looted, crafted, harvested, quest rewards, etc. Some crafting components and resources will be factionally tied. Procurement of these factional resources will be the hardest and they will tend to have the most impact, in some cases be required, in elite crafted items. When crafting is fully implemented, expect the ability to craft almost all items in game. Elite crafters will be able to take steps to create items that compete with elite loot drops, and in some cases exceed the lootable version.
Similar to craft, but occurring on the fly, those skilled in the art of Salvage will be able to combine items in their inventory with varying effects. This system is still being developed as based on a list of recipes and items that work together to create other simple to intermediate items. An example would be: You loot a hubcap… its junk, but when you hold a leather strap in your inventory you now have an option on your hubcap to “fashion into a shield…”
Items and Loss
Upon death your equipped item will fall to the ground in front of you. Your corpse will remain there, lootable by all. This means your allies can grab your belongings before your enemies have the chance. Encumbrance will also effect how much of your bootie can be looted. We have a different outlook on items in this game. Guns come and go - your skill is what matters and your special abilities with the gun. Players will find that ammo, gasoline and the ‘consumable’ items of the game are much more a factor than who’s Ak-47 is better. Without ammo, it’s a poorly crafted club.
Each culture has a set of Iconic Items that are singularly unique on the server. These cultural icon items range from weapons, to jewelry to special vehicles. These items can be fought over held onto (if you are worth) and even used for your own bidding. If you were to gain possession of an enemy’s Iconic Item you can turn it in to your factional leaders for big rewards, or choose to use its power for yourself.. as long as you can hold onto it. This is still in development, but uses the simple CTF mechanic we all know.
Ruin Online is set in a totally new geo-political climate of warring cultures set around the last inhabitable regions of the planet. These diverse cultures, of course, have unique equipment and even modifications that can be done to players and their User Interface. A player might join the Zaibatsu Corp. just for the cybernetic technology they specialize in. But upon learning what’s needed (and getting certain “modifications done”), the player can leave that faction (with consequences) and seek his fortune elsewhere. All the while, retaining the unique User Interface elements made available by his former factional relationship. A lot of the standard GUI elements found in MMO’s will be available but with a wide range of look, functionality and total effectiveness. Many of these GUI items are tradable and modifiable by the player.
Full-time, contestable locations in many zones that reward the controlling force with various benefits. These are seen throughout the game in small through large scale.
Ruin story/quest/vendor content can be updated and developed real-time live on our game servers. New PvP-quest system puts the players in the actor role as quests unfold during PvP battles. In a world of fully opened ended player combat, go “On Duty” for your army to take advantage of dynamic system messaging keeping your squad up to date with the action. "Is your COMM channel secure? Better hope so, or the enemy just heard every plot you schemed… get a Sentinel-bot to protect your chat channel, nub."
Still in final development, the storyline of Ruin Online is rich with lore and tales of past glory. BrokeAss Games is currently in discussions with an internationally known Sci-Fi writer, to be named later, with the goal of putting the “polish” on the theme details and plot arcs of the world of Ruin. All written content such as the entire quest system and vendor/item information can be updated, fixed or completely rewritten LIVE with players online seeing the changes immediately. No more waiting months for one fix just to be able to progress in your quest.
Already developed, the End Game mechanic built into Ruin Online will ‘contact’ your character when he is deemed ready and set him on a final path to uber-ownage. Enter a galactic-scale two faction war, well beyond the war the nubs are fighting on the ground. We cannot say anymore at this time.
BrokeAss Games has very low operating expenses and a deep love for MMORPGs….and PvP. We are creating this game out of the love of the art, as gamers, that just so happen to make games. The core team of founders is a tight-nit group that has developed 3D projects both professionally, and as a pass-time, for the past 10 years. With professional backgrounds ranging from the “Top” game companies to electronic gambling software publishing, the BrokeAss team leads a group of about 10 additional developers in rotation on the Ruin project.
This is why we’re here. The simple difference between an MMO and all other game genres… the masses of players! Without it, you have no MMO. 2006 marks the year of the RPG for the Ruin team, as we add the classic RPG elements we all love. We have finally begun work on our 3rd generation of player characters; expect Player Customization to expand tremendously in the coming months. Crafting, Player housing, factional bases/guildhalls and player cities are all planned for later.