The new MMORPG Into the Echo from the Canadian developer Etlok Studios Inc. has big plans. The game should revolutionize the MMORPG genre, be completely different and combine the feeling of discovery of the classics with new technologies.
What kind of game is this? Into the Echo is a new MMORPG set on the planet Raava. Millions of years ago, a strange cosmic event happened on Raava that gave the inhabitants of the planet a unique ability called Qen.
With the establishment of the great “Order of the Silver Birch”, after many power struggles, peace was secured on the planet, which is now threatened. Strange things happen on Raava and the residents can only survive the impending danger if they work together.
In order to find out the secrets of the planet, you will have to travel through time and solve problems together with other players. The game is developed in Unreal Engine 5.
How is the gameplay going? Not much is known about how she will play Into the Echo. Although there will be the usual PvE and PvP content, the developers want to move away from the standard formula that currently prevails in MMORPGs.
“We could try and recreate all of the mechanics from the games we grew up with. The truth is, the reason we loved these games is not just their mechanics, but the psychology behind the experience. There was always a sense of the unknown in those early experiences, the mystery that lurked around every corner, just waiting to be discovered. The harmony between expectations, speculation and excitement gave us the fun feeling we crave every time we start a new game”. – Akshay Kolte, Executive Producer on the official blog.
The team’s goal is therefore to take the feel and excitement of the old MMORPG classics and apply them to new technology. Into the Echo is intended to be a game “that the players would want to live in”. The game’s development system is said to go a long way towards this.
The developers did not provide any explicit information on this, but a blog entry explains how the idea behind it should work. The linear level system that you will know from other MMORPGs and games is being replaced by a system that the developers call “hub-and-spoke”, like the spokes on a wheel. It works something like this:
“We basically took everything apart that can be leveled (e.g. skills) and split it up into individual “spokes”. The progress within a “spoke” is measured by category markers instead of the usual numerical scales. […] While some “spokes” are interdependent, players basically have complete freedom as to which of them they want to upgrade. Some will choose to master some skills completely, while others prefer to take a little bit of everything. As an end result, an individual player should no longer be defined by a number, but rather have a unique signature that indicates who they are and what they want to become”. – Akshay Kolte, Executive Producer on the official blog.
The different types of content in Into the Echo will therefore contain specific skill requirements instead of the usual character or item levels. The system also has the advantage that there will be an infinite number of “spokes” that the developers can bring into play along with the new content. So you don’t have to worry about destroying the previous system, says Kolte.
How to register for the pre-alpha: Since the game is still in a very early development phase, you can only register for a pre-alpha test for the time being. To do this, you have to go to the official website of Into the Echo and scroll down a bit. There you will find the “Sign up for our pre-alpha” button, which will redirect you to registration.
But while the concept of the MMORPG sounds interesting in itself, in large part it’s still just a concept. There is no date for the first tests and no specific gameplay that interested gamers could get an idea of. Accordingly, it remains to be seen whether Into the Echo can turn its ambitions into reality.