E3: Imaginary Numbers Shows A Real Game
05.19.05 - 6:16 PM

Imaginary Numbers had a chance to show us an online Strategy-RPG in a persistent world. Tactica Online is not an MMORPG in the classic sense, however. Although it exists in a persistent world, Imaginary Numbers is sure to stress that the player is not a single avatar, and so does not exist as an MMORPG.

Players in Tactica Online will be able to travel and find missions in an overworld that will then send them into an instanced mission dungeons. Dungeons are generated somewhat randomly, but will follow a certain set of requirements based on the mission. In an interesting turn of events, players will then be matched with opponents across the globe through a ladder matching system based. Someone who received the other end of that quest and is around your level will be tossed into the same instance and will battle it out with the players.

Tactica Online is strictly a PvP game. There is no AI. However, there is no 'loss' of statistics when the player loses. Additionally, Imaginary Numbers will implement a ladder matching system that puts them against someone with a team of the same approximate strength and skill level. The EXP system is Tactica Online is based on customization, not beefyness. Players will earn a certain amount of points every battle to create customized warriors. There will likely be a point total for each mission so that players will not outmatch each other. Character classes are not set like other games. The more skills a particular character uses, the different class he is assigned. If a Warrior uses more healing skills, his class may change to Paladin. If his focus continues to shift to healing, he may become a War Priest.

The world of Tactica Online is described as "da Vinci-punk", an era of the world that's not quite as advanced as steampunk. There are three battling forces, those of Magic, Religion, and Technology. As players who align themselves with these three forces win battles, the game world will shift with them. However, if a certain group starts to become extremely underpowered, they will be boosted, a la Planetside.

Up to eight players are slated to be able to play in a single skirmish, and missions are slated to last up to 30 minutes. Imaginary Numbers has said that there will be a grace period with instances of disconnection and that there will be no pause feature. Battles will not drag out for longer than 30 minutes, however, both for this reason and to attract the casual gamer. Imaginary Numbers had created a unique game in the online world, and are quite proud of it.

Tactica Online is currently slated for a Fall 2005 release date. The game will require a 2 gHz Pentium 4 processor, 256 MB of RAM and a GeForce 3/Radeon 8500 or better video card. Tactica Online will also not have a monthly fee nor will it have server shards. Expansions are slated to be released every 4-6 months after the initial release of the game.


John McCarroll