Tobold's Blog
Wednesday, October 10, 2007
Gods & Heroes cancelled

This just in, WarCry reports that Gods & Heroes has been cancelled. The official website confirms that news. It appears as if basically Perpetual didn't have the money to keep on developing both Gods & Heroes and Star Trek Online, and decided to drop the former to concentrate on the latter.

I am not a lawyer, but I guess that means the NDA just got lifted. :) I was in the Gods & Heroes beta, and the game looked quite nice. The ancient history setting was well done and a refreshing change from elves and orcs. But gameplay was very similar to every fantasy MMORPG, only with more pets, and I can see how they might have had problems getting a huge number of subscribers together. Star Trek is certainly the stronger license.
Not good news per se-God and Heroes seemed like it was going to be an interesting addition to the MMORPG genre. I mean sure, it doesn't completely break out of the fantasy mold but from watching some of the stuff the devs have been showing off I thought it had the potential to differentiate itself from the usual orc/elf/dwarf etc universes out there.

On the other hand, this means they could focus their energies on making Star Trek online an honest-to-goodness Trek MMORPG instead of just the same old fantasy game with a licensed veneer over it.
I've always been fascinated with the Roman Empire and that era in general. I even took Latin in high school and college (don't remember much, of course). I didn't expect to be a long-time subscriber, but I hate to not get a chance to try the game.

If the NDA is lifted (which I wouldn't assume it is, because businesses are annoying that way), I'd appreciate a little review if you have more to say. How much did the actual contact of character models affect the feel of combat? How did you like the multiple, class-based NPC companions?
Contact of character models? I don't think Gods & Heroes had collision detection. If it had, I simply didn't notice it, which would also answer your question. :)

I played two very different builds of Gods & Heroes during that beta. In the first one I felt super powerful. My priest was launching spells that would have been enough to solo mobs, and having a tank pet made me invincible. The next build was much toned down. Before it closed down, I was just trying to play a warrior with a healer pet, but still had some problems getting him to actually heal me. I never got to a point where I had more than 1 minion, but I got system messages about entering a zone where up to 8 of them were allowed, if I had the level for that.

I'm not going to write a review, that's crying after spilled milk. If you absolutely want to go Roman, you could try Roma Victor. I never played that one, so I don't know if it is any good.
This is a bold, but right move. It is better to utilize the team ressources and the learnings from Gods & Heroes and concentrate on STO. STO, if released properly and before StarCraft Online could have THE once in a lifetime chance to be big, even HUGE. I think G&H would have not made a big success, the fanbase for mythology is not as big as fantasy for example and the game did not offer a strong licence (compared to WAR and AoC). I appreciate the move by Perpetual, a company that is in my view strongly challenged to bring STO to a solid outcome. Just as an example, Perpetual uses the fanbase to help them on pics about Starfleet Ships and so on. Nothing to be worried about, but the game does not seem to be a streamline development so far. Graphics I have seen are good, but no one has seen too much of the game yet. Let's hope for the best. STO would be the game that I would stop WoW for (but still continue to play LOTRO until I reach Mordor and beyond...).
How these people got the ST franchise is beyond me. They're going to screw it up just like R. Koster and SOE screwed up SW, except SW was never a good IP for a mmorpg, and ST is tailor made for it.

What is the source for your prediction? So far, the things I have seen point in the right direction. And there are decisions that truly upset much of the fanbase, but might make this a good game after all.

I admit, I put in VERY high hopes in STO, because I want to believe that there is a chance for a great, compelling game in the beloved ST universe.

Some approaches made by the team sound ok. They want to focus on the game aspect, less on a TV Series / Spaceship Simulation aspect. So we can commandeer a starship in 3rd person view (not bridge view apparently, which upset MANY fans). Then I envision away missions with teams of either solo gamer (and it would be a perfect opportunity to take the 'NPC Group' code from G&H into STO...) or groups of people on planets / space stations / etc.

The hub concept of large (Galaxy Class) spaceships sounds right to me, too.

Also, the first graphics looked right on track.

I still have hope and my assumption with the G&H move is that they have a good team who knows their business and recognize better when to bail out and focus the ressources on the most promising project instead of going bancrupt over running cost for G&H that no-one plays, then having insufficient funds for the top-rated ST licence project. That would be worse imho.
Playing a few days of the Gods and Heroes beta I was keenly aware that it was either going to be a huge failure or was much further away from release than they seemed to think. It looked good and played incredibly boring. The minion system had potential but in actuality was very boring and you had very little control over it. The GIGANTIC talent trees were overwhelming to say the least. Combat was bleh.
I got key for the Gods and Heroes beta on Monday. Downloaded over night. Thought I had seen something about beta testing was from Wednesday to Sunday so was not worried when server was down on Tuesday. Wednesday comes and game is cancelled.

I was in Roma Victor beta and found it to be most boring MMORPG had ever tried. Been two years so hopefully is better.

F13 had a thread started a few weeks ago on STO with the funny title “Boldly going where Everyone has gone before”. I think people were saying basically the class system and many other aspects were just the same as most MMORPGs.
I worked on the game in a Lead role for over two years and I can tell you, without any doubt whatsoever, that the failure of the game to ship was due to incredibly poor management at the highest level.

There is no way in Hades that this company delivers Star Trek online. Look for them to 'postpone' that title too in about 2 years.

Any questions?
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