Jane Austen MMO Ever, Jane Promises Social Strategy And Probable Scandal
“What are you writing about this week?” my friend asked me over breakfast this morning.
I sipped my tea and smiled. “A Jane Austen MMO.”
My friend, who has a master’s degree in comparative lit and years of hardcore raiding under her belt, raised her eyebrows. Skeptically.
“No, seriously,” I said. “It’s a thing. It cleared its Kickstarter goal by almost $10,000 a few days ago. It’s got a playable prototype — well, okay, more of a proof of concept. Lots of bugs, not a lot to do. But I tried it out, and, honestly…I think it could be pretty cool.”
Indeed, there isn’t much to look at yet in Ever, Jane, but the premise has promise. Consider: An MMORPG completely free of combat, based around heavy roleplay and social strategy. Instead of Strength, Dexterity, Wisdom, and so forth, player characters level their Status, Kindness, Duty, Happiness, and Reputation. Focusing on one trait means sacrificing another — Reputation for Happiness, for example, or Kindness for Status. In order to progress, players must orchestrate social engagements, avoid scandal, and smite their enemies with gossip. Guilds are replaced by families, whose status can be influenced by individual players. (Imagine, for a moment, a game inhabited by guilds primarily concerned with the social reputation of their members.) And of course, there are all the little diversions you’d expect — mini-games, NPC quests, farm and estate management, carriage travel, tradeable gifts. It’s an MMO, no question. Just without boss fights and giant swords.
I’m having a really had time imagining how this will play, or maybe a better way to put it is I have a hard time imagining how this will be interesting. Then again I have a long track record of raiding type mmorpging.