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Realms Beyond Gameplay Footage + Preview at RPGWatch

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Realms Beyond Gameplay Footage + Preview at RPGWatch

Preview - posted by Infinitron on Thu 6 September 2018, 01:47:36

Tags: Ceres Games; Peter Ohlmann; Realms Beyond: Ashes of the Fallen

According to Ceres Games, Realms Beyond was very well received at Gamescom last month. It seems however that it was mostly well received by Germans, since they're the only ones who posted anything about it until today. There were a number of articles and interviews, but only one media outlet by the name of Gadarol has published new gameplay footage. While the developers and the site representative converse in German, the game itself is in English. It looks very cool, and much smoother than the stilted combat alpha video from earlier this year might have suggested.

But I wouldn't have posted this if all we had was a video in German. It's fallen to good old Myrthos over at RPGWatch to write the first English-language preview of Realms Beyond. It's not the most artfully written piece, but it's extraordinarily meticulous. I'm surprised to learn that the game implements Ultima VII-style world interaction, where every item in the environment can be picked up. This is no mere Temple of Elemental Evil clone. An excerpt from the preview:

One of the philosophies the developers have in making the game is that they want to restrict the player as little as possible in their exploration activities in the game. The player needs to make his or her own choices and live with the consequences of those choices, but it is needed to have the right skills in order to explore in a proper way. With the right skill you could, for example, detect herbs and harvest them. If you do not have that skill, the characters in your party will not recognize the herbs, which stops you from harvesting them.

With choices and consequences comes a branching quest system, which they use to have your choices have an impact in the world. Actually, your actions, both inside and outside of quests, can have consequences in the world. If you would destroy a goblin camp somewhere and kill all the goblins, it might be that after some time, humans will claim that spot, because the goblins are no longer there. You can make entire regions safer for humans in this way, but you can also choose not to.

And if you are lost, and like to know what quest you are doing now, you should be aware that the game does not have a quest compass or quest markers hovering over people's had or hovering anywhere else for that matter. Any information you need about quests can be read from the journal, which is automatically filled with information as you go along.

There is also a branching dialog system. Conversations can have different outcomes depending on your choices. In addition, some branches in conversations are based on your race, gender, class, or what you have done up to that point. This can also happen with merchants, who might not want to help you because they don't like humans, dwarves or something like that.

NPCs you encounter in a village will be talking to each other and you can listen to their conversations. The text they use can be just random talk, but can also depend on your previous actions. If you would have cleared that goblin camp, you might hear them talk about a group of heroes who finally killed the goblins. This again, is meant to make the world more real.

Realms Beyond will support alignment, but their their implementation of alignment is different from the D&D version, as they wanted something more intricate. They plan to use a diagram where different character traits are available and each character will align more or less with each of these traits. Like, being greedy, lazy, sneaky, open-minded, etc. As it is still in development, this could not be shown.

The way this works in the game is that if you have a greedy character and you let that character barter with a merchant, it will probably not be a success, as the greedy character will not part from money or items easily and it is very unlikely that they will come to an agreement. So perhaps a greedy person is not the best person to barter with a merchant.

Also the armor class is a bit different from D&D. In D&D you only have armor for the torso. They have changed this and distributed the armor class from D&D over different armor parts for the helmet, body, gloves and boots. If they are all of the same type then together they would give the same armor class as the armor in D&D would.

The game will support a faction system on different levels. One town is a faction, one kingdom is a faction and then there are global factions, such as a merchant gild, or factions based on a race or religion. You can align yourself with factions, but some factions are opposite to each other, so befriending one faction, could mean you become an enemy of another faction. You can for example, align with the orcs, but in order to do that you have to kill humans, who will not think kindly of you because of that. If you make a character angry, because of your actions or conversations, it will spread out to the faction that character belongs to, like the village or camp.
Realms Beyond is in pre-alpha now, and most of its features, systems, graphical assets, etc, are already in place. The main thing missing is content, which is what the Kickstarter in October will be for. Ceres are hoping to reuse the impressive engine they've built. They already have plans to release two major expansions, each one expanding the world with a full game's worth of content. As for the base game, according to head honcho Peter Ohlmann, the plan is to put it on Early Access in late 2019, with a final release in early 2020.

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