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And given my disappointment with Darkfall, I have to say that my hope is very 'measured' with MO. I think if I hadn't seen what I have with DF thus far, I wouldn't be so saddened by it all.
Anyway, Mortal Online is being developed by a public company, Starvault: http://www.aktietorget.se/QuotesInstrument.aspx?Language=2&InstrumentID=SE0002149369
Being a publicly traded company, they have a board, investors, and pay dividends on their stock. That means that projects they take on or have to take on internally are eventally going to have to be answered for. The contractual obligations that have been made already with Epic Games (it's on their website), among other world building tools, MO's team seems to be leveraging existing technology to build a new game world out of. I think this allows them to speed up development quite a bit over what Aventurine has gone through over the last 8 years. To the point of my thought -- I don't think it's anything close to vaporware.
That said, my HOPES for the game are measured -- I think that there will be PvP and fighting very similar to Darkfall. My expectations are set at something like an Age of Chivalry type of game right now, with nothing more on top of that. But given that Age of Chivalry was done by only a few guys leveraging an engine, that adds a dash of hope to MO, with a fully staffed (small) dev team leveraging like the AoC team did, existing technologies. Except in MO's case, they are funded by Starvault.
Now PvP might totally suck, it might be good. That's the measuring stick I will hold the game to, and if PvP is boring or even monotonous, then I will tell them so and leave the game or never play it. Darkfall has this problem for me, and I've turned my back on it for the time being -- there is room for improvement (a lot), but I'm afraid in the time they are looking to release, the game won't be that exhilirating early on. The NA release might bode better, and I look forward to that and giving it a fresh look with no biases at that time.
The last reason I like MO, is that simply put -- they answer questions and have some interaction with the users. I'm in their official IRC channel and often you'll find developers shooting the shit with users, the CEO in there talking about his vision for the game, etc. This transfers over to the forums as well, where developers have explained how they are leveraging technologies in order to develop the game, how combat works (in a basic sense), and taking input from forum members and participating in the discussion about what features should go in (slot based backpack or UO style) and the pros and cons of them (for the slot based stuff, either a single database entry, or three for the X,Y, and Z axies). It's refreshing to see that developers are giving you the reasons for the way they are doing some things, and that you have an active role in the process (or at least, you feel like you do).
Aventurine thus far has had Tasos as the only mouthpiece of the game at all. He has said he will never announce a release date until they are 100% ready and don't want to let it slip, but already have. Less than two weeks to launch and there is no information about pre-ordering. The features are largely incomplete but the base game is playable. And for the fanboys (of which I used to be one), this is ALL OKAY and fine. I am happy to see that there are more active voices than a singular one for MO, they actually engage in discussions whether it be about anime, other FPSers or MMOs, or MO itself. I like that it's run by a public company, because you can verify most of the things they tell you because they have to release any agreements they make, and both sides (Epic and MO) could verify a licensing deal or whatever.
That said, I'm VERY cautiously optimistic about the game. When it comes out, and if it sucks -- I'll give it the same review I would for Darkfall. At the end of the day, it's a game that's meant to be fun and if it's missing a lot, those devs will certainly get no restraint from me. However if they make a good game and stay true to what they have thus far in their engagement with the playerbase, I think it has potential to be very, very good. Hopefully with Darkfall's upcoming release, they will have a lot to learn on what to do, and what not to do as well with regard to their game.
Competition is good for everybody, anyway
We'll see how the game turns out in time, but right now I'm just confident enough to say it will come out this year, so that's a plus either way