Breaking: World of Darkness Online

Word out of The Grand Masquerade is that the long-under-wraps WoD MMO is going to be based on Vampire: The Masquerade, and releasing 2012 at the earliest. More news as it arrives.

UPDATE #1: Dodgy video of the trailer shown:

UPDATE #2: Looks like it’s called “World of Darkness”. But it’ll be based on Vampire: The Masquerade (which, for those not in the know, is the older version of the Vampire RPG.)

UPDATE #3: “MMO will have a focus on player politics and social interaction.” Not unexpected, given it’s CCP, and given the nature of the property itself. If it was all instanced dungeon-crawls… well that’d be silly.

UPDATE #4: Confirmed via multiple reports to be Vampire-only. At least at first. We’ll all be curious to find out just how much this particular door has been left ajar.

UPDATE #5: Three terms that were tossed out in terms of playstyles the game will enable were “Sandbox,” “Themepark,” and “Coffee Shop.”

UPDATE #6: Video replaced with a high-quality version. Bald dude still out front.

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33 responses to “Breaking: World of Darkness Online

  1. Based on Masquerade. God… yeah what we need are superhero vampires… and no Werewolf. So my enthusiasm for this game has plummeted. I’m sorry… Masquerade was a poor choice, but I guess Camarilla is behind it.

    I’m sure CCP will do great with it, but… man. When White Wolf said at GenCon some people would love the announcement and some people would hate it, I couldn’t understand why until now.

  2. eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee

    (although I guess this means there are no other factions; maybe added later, I hope.)

  3. That is going to make a screaming ton of money if they don’t completely screw the pooch. The Ann Rice crowd, the Twighlight crowd, the Joss Whedon crowd. All huge markets that are largely untapped.

  4. It sure would be great if there were BOOKS for this. I’ve said for years that a New World of Darkness rulebook focused on The Masquerade would be a great seller. Of course, White Wolf has hinted that it is done making physical books…which is pretty heart breaking. I sure would like to put one on my shelf.

  5. I was in the reveal, and a separate portion of the announcement was the future availability of the *entire* White Wolf library via print-on-demand. Further, there is an established record of digital products (e.g. pdfs such a New Wave Requiem). They may be done printing books, but I strongly doubt they’re done developing their IPs.

  6. Too bad. I prefer Requiem as a setting. Something tells me they’re doing a bit of fusion, though, based on what I saw in that trailer. Not a terrible way to go. Appease the VtM grognards and keep the nWoD fans invested with a better-written style and more complex tone.

    Carry on then.

  7. To not go with VtR (which is as made for a sandbox setting) is a huge mistake I think (if that is infact what they are doing). Not to mention how poor the other Old WoD lines work at all (if they ever plan on adding them). If it is indeed the case that CCP/WW is going with old WoD then I’ll be quite disappointed (despite all the nostalgia I have for it after been playing it since ’91). Don’t fuck this up CCP, don’t.

  8. I prefer Requiem, too, but basing an MMO on Masquerade is the better marketing decision. VtM has already been introduced to the PC gamer community via 2 games, VtM concepts are flat, easy to grasp, blunt, generic – perfect for an MMO game, really. Plus you have all this “we control everything” and “millennia” and “epic level” stuff – just the stuff you’d actually WANT for an online game, even if you prefer playing a Requiem vampire in P&P or LARP. All the reasons VtM is inferior to VtR at the gaming table and LARP make it superior to VtR on PC. If I were WW/CCP, I’d make playing a vampire a free account, and playing a mage a pay account :)

  9. VtM bluntness is not well suited for a sandbox MMO driven by player actions and input (see EVE). But I agree that its familiarity and metaplot do make it a beter, a easier choise, but what the sacrifice with that is pretty abysmal (that said if they don’t do nWoD with most of the oWoD metaplot?). Also oWoD Mage, Werewolf and Wraith is unplayable while oWoD Changeling is just not a World of Darkness. In New WoD they all work brilliantly well and side by side as well. The only thing that makes VtM/oWoD good for a MMO is that it has a more well known metaplot and brand name, the rest is just garbage in a MMO enviorment (relative to nWoD). MMOs (sandbox) should be like LARPs.

  10. I don’t think so. In our Requiem LARP, each local covenant developed its own flavor, even rites, texts, traditions – as it is supposed to be in Requiem. I don’t see this happening on a MMO level. “Sandbox”, in an MMO context, is still about “who fights against whom”. With VtM online, I am “only” sceptical how that plays out (as I imagine a lot more “dynamic chaos” coming from PvP than any Justicar would tolerate :) ), a VtR online is … actually, I find it close to unimaginable. Neither the personal, individualistic context nor the group context of covenant rites etc. are playable in MMO (at least I can’t imagine how).

    All in all, I prefer they botch VtM online than seeing them botch VtR online :) And if VtM online works out, well, good luck to all – and rest in peace to VtM LARP.

  11. VtR doesn’t have Malky or Brujah… VtR > VtM? WTF? VtR must have sparkling.

    Children who cry about VtM obviously played under weak storytellers. Sucks for you!

  12. Well, if I cant play as a werewolf, this game is uninteresting.. Will have to find some other ways to tear sissy vampires apart. Always wanted a werewolf: TA game, and with the pc game killed in its crib..

  13. The Ann Rice crowd, the Twighlight crowd, the Joss Whedon crowd. All huge markets that are largely untapped.

  14. Wonderful news.
    A actually lost all interest in when they came up with nWoD and threw all that complex and rich metaplot in the garbage. I could not live without the good old clans and the new world always seemed a little lackluster and bland.
    I’m absolutely elated with this!

  15. Not to sound nitpicky; but each brand of WW product deems its self better suited for “Mass play” I have played OWoD for 12 years and I see both plus’ and Minus’ to this format as an MMO.

    Firstly if its going to be based like your standard MMO its not going to work, yet to write it off based on the context of how it is presented to you and think that NWoD would do any better is not much the case.

    OWoD is driven my story teller, and Player interaction–Which by the way is the same format that NWoD uses and any other Table top objective–That being said the ‘storyline’ in effect is the story teller, and if they have a path of reach out come what you do will matter..Which gets the job done on a besic level.

    I have also Story told crossover before, and dispite what White Wolf would like you new age Rpers to believe, back in the hay day of Old world of darkness Crossover could happen, did happen and went smoothly.. Each game has its set factors and its a matter of how they are equaled out that matters most..Will I say that all the Venues need to be repersented here? Not at first..But they are going to go with the core three first, and vampire was first..If they did them all at once, no money could be made..And thats just basic business.

    Sand box game play means that its a group activity format, mostly grids and what have you; Coffeeshops refers to the ‘social places’ for players While themepark play means that the players will be able to use the area around them. Stop debating between the two verisons and just be happy with what is being put out for now.

  16. I dislike VtR, but happy they are sticking with the superior VtM. Werewolves might be next, but my second favorite would be Mage if they could determine how to make the magic system work….

  17. ““superior VtM”. Sigh. Must this all lead to the inevitable systembash?”

    I think it would have been fairer to quote the bile from the very first poster in this thread.

  18. I think I’m going to cry.

    Especially since its VTM which is my favorite P&P game ever.

  19. I hate this. I hate that this crap (and now we know it’s VtM crap?!) has been tanking an awesome game publisher. The one thing we need is for the maker of one of the world’s most boring MMOs to absolutely kill the maker of the world’s best role-playing games. Bah.

  20. VtM is the best choice, no matter how flawed it was, it had a very rich world full of possibilities. A Millenia old (mostly unseen) battle between forces most didn’t understood, Pawns and Queens, whether they see it or not.

    And I’m sorry to be rude but the VtR semi-vampires are just BS… they forget their unlives when in torpor??? That makes no sense to me; weak minded vampires have no room in a “World of Darkness”; no point having eternity if you can’t do something with it because you forgot!!! They might just wait for the next sunrise because they won’t get anywhere far anyway (unless they sparkle which wouldn’t surprise me).

    VtM can have great political and social interactions as well as open conflict. Some narrow minds can only see the Clan and Sect common interaction, it takes an excellent storyteller to bring the most essential part of the game: before being part of a Sect, before being part of a Clan, a Cainite was a Cainite and that isn’t as easy as most players think. Even as a storyteller myself I was having a great time showing that simple aspect to my players and they both love & hate me for that.

    VtR well, it can have dull and boring eternal meetings where nobody gets to do anything productive so they can continue to quarrel endlessly with a rival faction/covenant for some forgotten reason nobody cares to ask anymore… Yeah, really fun.

    Furthermore, the new setting has a huge contradiction everyone seems to overlook: If creating another vampire takes so much effort, it would be logical to think a Sire will make every effort to make his progeny work for him and his interests, thus creating even a stronger bond within the Clan members than the previous setting had, this contradicts the weight Covenants have, Clans would be much more united and determined to attain some set of goals.

    In short, VtR is a depressing bad copy of VtM I’m glad to see WW can recognize their mistakes and put back on the light the gold mine they have in VtM

  21. As for your VtM fandom: I’m not going to argue that you prefer VtM to VtR. I could say you’ve missed the entire point of VtR, but mommy always said that there are mean people on the internets who do not WANT to understand. So do as you please and have fun with “the game that makes fun only in the hands of the most excellent storyteller”. And you know why? Because VtM isn’t helping the poor sod who rund the game 1 inch.

    But as for your “huge contradiction” error: The only thing that would result from what you describe are family lines that run in one Covenant, so there is a Daeva family named X that’s all Circle (and has been for time immemorial), and it’s got a huge feud with the local Daeva family named Y that actually founded the Lancea Sanctum of the domain.

    Yeah, sounds like TOTALLY boring and small and petty. There wasn’t even MENTIONING of a millenia-old guy who ate the New York underground.

  22. I’m sorry most didn’t ever know good storytellers, I was very lucky to meet a couple who were excellent.

    The Daeva thing just sounds like Daeva – Daeva Antitribu to me but hey, since nobody actually is sure of what they remember and VtR is supposed to be new, let’s just call it the formation of a Covenant. “Bad copy” written all over it.

    Role-playing games aren’t supposed to give the storyteller everything in a silver plate, otherwise everyone would be playing the same story over and over, it’s a setting storytellers must take and do something interesting with it, VtM had depth and many possible stories to be developed, VtR just seems to have a “let’s all bicker about our enemies for all eternity while we trade with others”, seriously, the memory loss kills a lot of potential in a vampire game, makes them act like vain mortals. That sucks and puts them in the same level as the recent teen novels with vamps acting like school boys/girls as if they went into a cave for 500 years only to come out and act worst than neonates with no vision into the future and almost none human alienation.

    And don’t start with the Carthians and Invictus, they are nothing compared to Path followers in VtM nor the Camarilla Elders.

  23. Very well, you said I’ve “missed the entire point of VtR” so tell me about it, where does VtR is superior to VtM and what can be done with VtR that can’t be done with VtM?? The book claims it can go deep into the kindred social and politic interaction and I believe it, but I don’t believe it can’t be done with VtM.

    I see the VtM setting much more horrifying, but I will grant VtR the benefit of doubt if there is anything I did missed.

  24. Everything can be done with both games, given the right gamemaster. However, if you want to run a game of personal horror (like both games claim to be designed for) you’ll find VtR the better choice, because the system (rules, setting and the way the material is being presented) actively supports that gaming style.

    In contrast, VtM supports a game of undead superheroes.

    Mind you: Both kinds of games can be fun. And if you like the VtM background, you won’t find that one in VtR, so VtM will always be the better option for you.

    But VtM – not 1st edition, but every other one – gives you tons and tons of information that is not relevant to a game centered around modern-day neonates and the personal horror connected with being a young vampire in a world full of monsters. To the archetypical vampire story (in the sense that both VtM and VtR portray to be and give as their default chronicle type) there is absolutely NO gaming value in giving the details and “true backgrounds” of millenia-old stuff, whether you like a vampire-blob that eats the New York underground and “the city that got copy/pasted into the realm of ghosts” or not.

    VtR approaches the game from the perspective of the story to be told and the “vampire noob” characters of the players. Background information is given not in the sense of “what really happened waaaayyy back”, but “what characters are thinking about that stuff NOW”. The same with the factions: Instead of giving rather bland stereotypes that take a lot of effort to evolve into a fun thing to play, VtR offers you a blend of options that help you build a believable individual, starting with the character construction process that actively takes yo through the building of a MORTAL first, THEN adding the vampire tablet.

    Factionwise, you don’t have to choose between familypowerparties (aka clans) as in VTM: You can pick family, power and party seperatly and combine them freely.

    Yes: You can build exciting and believable characters in VtM, and I did that for about 15 years. And you can bet that I enjoyed playing VtM, otherwise I wouldn’t have played it so long. BUT: When VtR came about and I threw away the nostalgia bonus (that VtM will always have for me and thousands of others) VtR really IS the better system.

    VtM is an old car that you have been repairing and upgrading for years. VtR is the new car. Both cars can get you there, wherever it is you want to go. But all in all, driving that new car is more fun – not because it’s new, but because it’s really evolved, consumes less fuel, travels faster, needs less customization and repairing etc. etc.

    Mind you: If you love your old 1960s beetle, by all means drive it till rust does you part. Just don’t waltz around and claim that it’s a better car than a 2010s Porsche, because it clearly isn’t (even if I wouldn’t be exaggerating that image as much).

    VtM is, however, better suited as a MMORPG.
    And the single big reason is that overblown backstory and those exact same stereotype vampire classes that make it inferior to VtR at the gaming table.

  25. It is undeniable that VtR’s approach is a very good one, centering their concept around the new player.

    It is for that reason and the memory loss that I prefer VtM but I understand and respect your reasons.

    I like the Elder gameplay, not for having an overpowered creature to bash things, but to challenge oneself with the burden of having lots of enemies and stuff to be worried about as well as forcing a player to think very very very ahead. It is challenging and not all players can do it, which must be one of the reasons to bring VtR, not everyone can take that role and have their character survive.

    I disagree with VtM having “superheroes” that also depends on the Storyteller, if anything they only are powerful monsters with even more powerful monsters chasing them. The “superhero” concept is inappropriate as by definition, they do not go out saving humanity but rather see for their own interests.

    I agree there are notable improvements with VtR, the kind I would’ve liked to see in VtM, however, just as they did with the 3rd Edition, maybe a 4th could have given the game the final touches. We might never know.

    It was White Wolf to blame for VtM’s flaws, because of the many sources they let go into the light without giving them a common background, as I said before, VtM does have flaws.

    It is a choice, with your reply I understand much better the reasons you like VtR and I thank you for that. I do prefer VtM’s background, I see a lot of things to exploit, in my opinion it gives a deeper layer of horror for many reasons.

    I found interesting that very few storytellers in VtM focused on the PC’s mortal lives and now that VtR builds much more around it, it is appreciated by everyone… VtM’s character creation did considered those aspects through a series of questions. The Storytellers I’ve mentioned on my previous posts demanded a background written story to play.

    In short, it seems it’s about how you played it.
    I think that, no matter what they said about having the MMORPG based on VtM, they might try to do a blending of both, not very good for my taste but an interesting concept if it does happen.

  26. For the record: I liked the Elysium sourcebook and the Elder gameplay it contained very much, and for playing Elders, VtM is clearly the better choice.

  27. Perfect way to set it up…have free accounts but only for Hunters. That way, you get a large number of vampire hunting mortals out there, fairly realistic…but they don’t have the same abilities as the paying vampires/werewolves/magi/wraiths/etc…

    I think that, if done right, this game could compete with many of the top MMO’s out there, even the big daddy World of Warcraft.

    Unless they totally screw this game up, I’d expect werewolf as the first expansion and mage as the second…and I can already imagine the PvP beauty of vampire vs werewolf battles.