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Massively's top four upcoming MMOs that let you fly


The ability to fly has always intrigued us as humans. Even in Leonardo da Vinci's day, the fascination with flight was so overwhelming that he dedicated much of his life to the discovery of getting us off the ground. Modern(ish) technology has helped us realize da Vinci's vision, through the use of enclosed vehicles or other large mechanical contraptions, but we have yet to truly master the art of personal flight.

This is where games can be more than just a way to have some fun; they can be a way to live vicariously through our avatars. As in-game art gets more and more realistic -- especially in scenery and lighting effects -- we can visit lands that we wouldn't ordinarily be able to, for a much smaller hit to our wallets. In-game flight is becoming very popular lately as we've noticed a certain influx of upcoming games with this feature. Not only can you fly in these games, but you don't need much to do so. Much like Second's Life's wildly popular avatar flight feature, these new games let you take to the skies without the use of a mount.

Follow along after the jump as we showcase four upcoming MMOs that use personal flight as a feature.
Keep in mind that this list is in no particular order and since they're still unreleased, these details are subject to change (pre- and post-launch).


Look, in the sky! It's a bird! It's a plane! No, it's DC Universe Online! To begin our venture into all things z-axis, we were able to sit down with Wes Yanagi, Senior Producer on DC Universe Online for some information on the superheroic flight powers available in the game.

1. Are there certain requirements needed to obtain the ability to fly in DCUO, or do you get them during character creation?

You'll have the ability to fly right from the get-go in DCUO. In a game about super-powered heroes and villains, we feel it's really important that players get a sense of their enormous power right from the start. One of the ways we can do that is by giving them their movement mode at level one. In addition to flight we've also announced super speed and acrobatics. Any of these movement modes are going to make you feel superhuman.

2. Are there limitations as to how the flying power can be used? For example, does it have a timed limitation or a stamina bar?

Well, you'll be able to zoom around Metropolis and other famous DC Comics locations from the start, but we aren't going to give you every flight trick in the book at level one. As your character advances, we expect players to learn new abilities within the flight movement mode that will make them feel even more powerful and able to accomplish even more amazing feats.

3. How large of a role will flying play in the game? Is it mostly a quick travel power, or are there other benefits?

Whether it's flight or our other travel powers, the first priority is to give players an effective way to cover large distances. Beyond that, we're fulfilling a power fantasy with flight in a way that any fan of the comics would expect. Imagine soaring over the Daily Planet building on your way to thwarting Bizarro's latest crazy scheme, or buzzing over the streets of Gotham City as you rush to aide Batman. That's the kind of adrenaline rush we want to deliver with DCUO.


Next we have the other upcoming superhero MMO: Cryptic's Champions Online. In Champions, the flight power also comes relatively soon, but not at character creation. We asked these same questions to Randy Mosiondz, Senior Game Designer at Cryptic.

1. Are there certain requirements needed to obtain the ability to fly in Champions Online, or do you get them during character creation?

Players need to be level 5 before they gain access to travel powers. Fortunately, players hit level 5 by the time they leave the tutorial.

2. Are there limitations as to how the flying power can be used? For example, does it have a timer or a stamina bar?

We have different versions of flight based around different comic book super powers. There is a regular Flight power which you simply turn on and can use, but we also have a faster Rocket Boots power which requires you to maintain a throttle to keep at maximum speed, and an Ice Slide power which ascends slowly but accelerates downward quickly. Most flight powers gear up or down in speed based on whether you are out of combat, are being attacked, or are actively engaged in a battle. Players can stay in the travel power indefinitely with only a slight reduction in energy recovery. Flyers should be aware that there are movement-disabling powers, thrown objects, and things like ground-to-air missiles that can momentarily turn off your flight, but that keeps combat interesting!

3. How large of a role will flying play in the game? Is it mostly a quick travel power, or are there other benefits?

Flight is a great way to travel between missions and adventure areas but is also a great way to get a bird's eye view of locations and is useful for staying out of reach of fierce hand-to-hand combatants. Just be careful when you see them picking a truck to throw at you!


Next we have Aion by NCsoft. In Aion, your flight ability comes from actual wings you sprout from your back. It all works quite well with the game's lore and progressive storyline.

1. What requirements are need to gain the ability to fly in Aion?

Once you reach level 10, you will gain your wings after completing an ascension quest.

2. Are there limitations as to how flight can be used? For example, does it have a timer or a stamina bar?

Yes, there are limitations to flight and you can monitor this through your Flight Meter. The Flight Meter will be green if you are in an area where you can fly and otherwise will be grayed out. You can press the Flight Meter to activate flight or push the PageUp button. If you hover over the Flight Meter, information about flight and its different commands will appear.

Once in flight, the green bars within the meter will start to count down, giving you visual clues of when your flight time will expire. When you get close to the end of the meter, the indicators will become red letting you know you need to land or get to a safe height, as soon as possible. You will also receive an error on your screen and one in chat, both letting you know when your flight time is running out.

3. How large of a role will flying play in the game? Is it mostly for quicker travel, or are there other benefits?

Flying is less about transportation in Aion but more a strategic element to combat. While flying will help you access certain areas, it's not critical to transportation in the world of Aion.


And finally, we have Global Agenda which uses jet packs to fly around the battlefield. These questions were answered by QA Intern Ian Guthridge.

1. Are there requirements to obtaining the jetpack, or do you get them during character creation?

The jetpack gets unlocked as soon as the player reaches level 5, and can then be selected in the equip screen; it does not require device points, so the player won't have to decide between it and a shiny new offhand.

2. Are there limitations as to how the jetpack can be used? For example, does it use fuel or have a timed limitation?

Like the other in hand devices, besides melee, it draws from the energy bar. There are skills that can reduce the amount of energy the jetpack consumes, or expand the energy bar, allowing the player to fly further. Additionally, devices aren't usable inside of cities, so no jetpacking from store to store.

3. How large of a role will flying play in the game? Is it mostly a travel power, or are there other benefits?

Flying is intended for transportation. Because of this, the player cannot use a weapon while flying. It not only lets the player reach heights that were previously inaccessible, it also lets them cover ground much faster.

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So whether you're looking forward to a fantasy, superhero or sci-fi title where personal flight is a feature, it seems you have a few options in the coming months. What began as mega-hype over Aion being 'that flying MMO' has grown into several upcoming games that feature that ability to take to the skies without a mount. If you would like to discuss other upcoming games where personal flight is featured, shoot us a comment below.

This article was originally published on Massively.