Shadow Realms was announced at Gamescom and looks interesting but I have some concerns. I really like that they’re trying to bring computer RPGs back closer to their pen and paper roots. I think the idea of 4v1 PvP could work, but the execution is going to be tricky to get right. BioWare is hitting all of the right notes in their descriptions of the game at least, emphasizing episodic story content with fast-paced tactical combat and deep customization. It reminds me quite a bit of the Secret World, only fortunately there’s no mention so far of zombies, which I’m beyond sick of.
Initially I thought the hero classes were a bit too standard: warrior, assassin (thief in any MMO), wizard, cleric, ranger (nature pet class), warlock (demonic pet class). But after giving it more thought, I think it makes sense to help with the accessibility of the game. There’s room in that setup to innovate on the classic trinity without confusing prospective players. The Shadowlord class will be the big draw for people looking for something novel.
The producer letter from Dallas Dickinson promise transparency and changes based on player feedback and gameplay metrics. I was especially interested to see them directing people to a new subreddit /r/ShadowRealms. Using an open platform like that for the initial community is an odd contrast to the EA/Origins prompt that greeted me when I signed up for the alpha, which I assume means Origins will be the launcher for the game when it’s released.
I’m still a little skeptical about the game, but I really like this quote from the Lead Designer James Ohlen and I would love to see BioWare pull it off:
Shadow Realms isn’t just hearkening back to those early BioWare PC games—it’s finally bringing the magic of tabletop RPGs to the digital realm.
Day 13 of Blaugust