El Somni Quas is a Unigine-based MMORPG that claims to be heavily inspired by Ultima Online. According to the game’s manifesto, the aims of — and reasons for — its development are:
We do believe, that good gaming concept will never become obsolete, so we have chosen to take principles we liked from games we enjoy and make composition that fills demand currently present in the niche MMO market. Why invent squared wheel to bring some new concept if there is such an obvious gap.
There is no fantasy sandbox + FFA + loot + PKs MMO (we like so much) immune to simplifying trends.
We know that no commercial company will or even can ever do such a game, because community that would welcome it is relatively minor and it would never ever repay incredible amount of money necessary to commercially produce such game. But in our team we are able to do such game with far lower budget. It of course places as some limitations, but nothing with impact on game play and that is what is going on.
Now you ask what makes us think that we can indeed produce such game. Well, we do have one big advantage. Since 2002 we are have running FFA Ultima Online Shard. It is using Ultima Online principles (sandbox, FFA, loot, PKs), but it has completely custom exp/level/class/race system with hundreds of spells, abilities, pvp rewards, multiple players ritual spells, complex magic item system and so on. We have the system, the ruleset and economy model that has been improved, tuned, fine-tuned and honed for over 13 years of its existence. And we know it works, it has kept its faithful players for years and years. In essence, our goal is to transfer this system to modern 3d environment and add some improvements and tuning because of switch to 3d (most significant would be “no tabulator” combat), but we really don’t have to tune exp gain, drop from monsters, pvp rewards/system rules, craft system difficulty, overall gaming risk/reward ratio, etc, because this is already done and proven by 13 years and cca 30 000 players who played on our server during those years.
While El Somni Quas appears to still be quite early on in its development, it should be noted that it appears to be shaping up nicely, at least if some of the screenshots are indicative:
The game was originally being developed with Unity, but the team made the decision to migrate to Unigine because of the latter’s superior support for the sort of large worlds they were trying to craft (even though this switch ultimately resulted in rebuilding most of the game from scratch).
You can follow El Somni Quas on Facebook for more updates, whereat you can also find numerous screenshots and bits of concept art.