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GDC09: Massively previews Huxley: The Dystopia page 2

James Egan

Quests and PvP

You can pick up quests in the city. Those are either story quests or instanced quests where you can either go solo or group up to wipe the map of enemy NPCs. Huxley's cities are large and while a player can navigate on foot, it's much faster to take a hoverbike, or travel by tram or train. The quests themselves often bring a player outside of the city (via train) or beneath the city, where they need to fight against the hybrids in the sewers.

While the game's quests can either be handled solo or in squads, players can also advance in Huxley through PvP. "With PvP you earn experience points as with quests, but you also earn rank points which let you level up your rank, such as private, sergeant, lieutenant, and beyond. The benefit of higher rank is access to the most powerful S-type weapons and bragging rights. People see the symbol next to your name and see what rank you are," like a title system, says Hong.

Much of Huxley is focused on two types of PvP: virtual combat and battleground combat. Virtual combat is essentially PvP light, where players can level up and gain rewards but their actions ultimately have no effect on Huxley's world. In a backstory sense, you're facing off against 'simulated enemies', gaining needed skills before venturing out into the battlegrounds. In reality, this is still full-on PvP, although the outcomes of combat don't affect cities. You're fighting other players who are logged in for virtual combat, regardless of which server you (or your friends) play on. In general, this allows a clan to gain bragging rights as being the top in the game, not just on one server.

Battleground, though, is large scale PvP with world impact. When one side (Sapiens or Alternative) suffers losses in battleground PvP their cities suffer economic impact. Prices increase and thus affects everyone in the city. This creates more incentive to get out there and defeat the opposing race and end their oppression. Players can pilot vehicles in battleground PvP, so tanks, APCs, and even a fighter jet can be thrown into the mix.

Development and publishing

The English language build WEBZEN showed Massively is in pre-alpha (from a publisher's standpoint) but don't despair. From a development standpoint the game has already been in beta testing for some time in Korea, in fact it's just finished closed beta testing and is getting nearer to release.

Huxley's North American publisher will be NHN USA, Inc. and will offer the MMOFPS through the ijji gaming portal. NHN USA is considering a free-to-play business model supported by microtransactions, but they're still in the process of working out the details. The official English website for Huxley isn't live yet and there's no word on English client beta testing, but among the info made available to the gaming press is a listed "live service date" of mid-2009. Keep an eye on Massively for further coverage of Huxley: The Dystopia as more details emerge.

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