Sammy Announces New Strugarden Details
04.04.04 - 4:40 PM

Sammy has announced that the closed beta testing phase for its PC-based MMORPG Strugarden will commence later this month. In the comic-style game, the player will be accompanied by a spirit named Nora, who is also capable of levelling up. She also acts as a translator for the user, who could not understand the words spoken by the shrine maidens of the Goddess Natelia without her assistance. Furthermore, Nora serves as an in-game tutorial. More important than items is the acquisition of skills. The game will offer six jobs and a so-called Skill Tree. Your path on that tree from the roots to the leaves will change, depending on which skills you choose at the bottom of the tree. Thanks to this system, the same job might get an entirely different quality, depending on your decisions. While such a system to advance your party is popular, it is a double-eged sword, seeing that players have to think of balancing their characters. To use skills in battle, they have to be registered to a so-called deck sheet. The number of times a certain skill on the deck sheet can be used is limited, however one can prepare several sheets before heading into battle and change them in order to adjust to the enemies' strengths and weaknesses.

The number of skill executions and deck sheets depends on the player's current level. The turn-based battles themselves are fought on a Final Fantasy Tactics-like field, on which players and enemies can move a certain number of squares. Before and after inputting your commands, you are free to move on the battle field. After you have moved, decided on your action and moved again, the CPU determines its actions and both your character and the enemy can move at the same time. Should they overlap the respective movement will be cancelled. Sammy refers to this system as Strategic Synchronized Battle System, or short SSBS.

Strugarden has yet to receive a release date or pricing.

Chris Winkler