I am really surprised that still, no Closed Beta date was given for Swordsman Online at ChinaJoy 2012. The only information now is that the game will enter beta phase later this year, with the official launch sometime early in 2013. In order to keep the impatient fans appeased, Perfect World has been aggressively promoting the game’s engine , Angelica III and some of the game’s features. These features are compiled in a list known as L.I.V.E.
“L” – Liberty, or freedom. In the game, players can switch between different roles, from a merchant in the day and a thief at night, or even assume the role of a government official. Other roles include bandits, imperial guards, constables, blacksmiths and more. This reflects the carefree style of the novel’s protagonist, Linghu Chong. Yes, this is on top of the 10 clans which players choose to start out from.
Players of similar roles may band together and form special groups. Conflicts between these groups may cause the whole game world’s to be much more dynamic. For example, if there is a rumor that the bandits are going to raid a group of armed escorts protecting something important, the escort agency may team up in secret with the constables to ambush them instead. For the merchants to ensure profits, they will have to recruit blacksmiths while having price wars with the group dealing with horses.
“I” – Interactive, the interaction between players leading to changes in the game world. Swordsman Online is said to have a game engine capable of having a system which mixes world events and players together. In this system, every decision players make will somehow affect the whole game world.
Some decisions include the death of a NPC, to a larger scale events such as a cooperative server effort to push the main storyline. It is said that most of the main characters in the novel will be up for deciding by the players if they live or die, thus affecting the whole storyline.
“V” – Various, or I think they meant variety. This is connected to interactive, where there can be different endings to quests and their storyline. Some quests can be done alone, some will require a server effort, while the decisions made on how to go about completing a quest will affect the ending as well. In short, every decisions players make, everyone will be affected and there will not be a standard outcome.
“E” – Emotional, where the emotions of NPCs will be similar to that of a live person. Using advanced AI, interaction with NPCs in Swordsman Online will be similar to that of talking to another live player. These NPCs will not only reply and react differently based on what the player characters experienced so far, but also trigger large world events.
For example, is a player successfully proposes to a mainstay female NPC in the game, other players will have to find this player (the hubby) before they can get quests from the NPC. If the player does not treat her well, she will instead turn her back on him and issue a world quest and ask other players to impress her for her hand in marriage.