If you look at the logo above, MARK actually stands for Middle Ages Rising Kingdoms… Which does not make any sense to me with the last word. No matter, MARK Online is the maiden title for Korean developer Blacksmith Games, which was first announced last month. Touted as a “hardcore” MMORPG, Blacksmith Games started out with a group of friends gathering together and sharing new game technologies back in 2008. However, the studio only officially form in October 2010, with the game then known as Gideon Project.
Heavily influenced, or should I say totally influenced by the Middle Ages, the game’s design stay true to the cultures and history of the era. Focused on open world PvP/ PK, the PvE aspects is rather interesting as well, as the monsters and bosses in dungeons are set to spawn randomly, with the developers not knowing when will they spawn next. Oh, the dungeons’ entrances spawn randomly across the world as well! With that said, if a team enters and another team follows soon after, open PK might occur if one team gets aggressive.
For the quest system, players are able to pay a fee to another player to help him or her gather the required materials to complete the quests. There will also be a personal bounty system, where players can pay another to PK someone for them. Before I forget, if Player A kills Player B, Player B’s entire inventory will be looted by Player A. To make sure there is some balance, there will be a skill where players can use to send items back to their storage. It is like remembering to save your Powerpoint slides in case the computer shuts down suddenly.
Open PK will not be made easy for high level players camping at low level maps. These areas are heavily protected and patrolled by strong NPCs. Once reaching open PK maps, all players are free to PK anyone except their fellow guild members. Players can gain EXP from both PvE and PvP. Finally, strong guilds will be able to build a guild castle, as seen in the second trailer above. There will then lead to siege warfare and so on.
There are no classes in the game, with players having the freedom to choose what skills to use and build their own unique characters. MARK Online is scheduled for its first Focus Group Testing (FGT) in September next month, with a release scheduled for next year.