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“Persist Online is definitely not a shooter” – Interview with the creators of the MMORPG Persist Online about hardcore, factions and the world of the game

Recently, the CipSoft studio, which released the cult MMORPG Tibia back in 1997, presented its new project called Persist Online. This game belongs to the same genre, but has a shooter combat system and includes survival elements. In order to find out more about it, a journalist from the MassivelyOP portal contacted the developers and asked a few questions. Below you can see the translation of the interview into Russian.

MassivelyOP: First of all, what exactly makes Persist Online a full-fledged MMORPG, and not just a survival game?

Benjamin Zuckerer from CipSoft: Persist Online is definitely not a shooter, but a full-fledged MMORPG with many features that distinguish it from typical survival games. First of all, it uses the classic third-person view typical of MMORPGs. The gameplay is slower and more strategic than a shooter – you don’t die instantly from a single bullet, which allows you to make more informed decisions.

The premise of the game is simple: you start in a safe bunker and go exploring a dangerous open world. Meet zombies, mutants, NPC factions and, of course, other players. You can loot houses, defeat enemies and collect resources with various tools. Then you can use what you find yourself, sell it to other players, or recycle it in a bunker (if, of course, you get there alive). Your character gains experience for killing enemies and completing quests. There is a skill system that allows you to develop your character and adapt it to your playing style.

The game world is constant: it is not divided into sessions and can accommodate hundreds of players at the same time. We want players to explore the world with all its dangers, but not lose all their progress because of one mistake. Persist Online maintains the tension when meeting another player – you don’t know if they’re hostile or friendly. Is it better to hide or fight for valuable loot space? It is this uncertainty that creates the stories born from the players themselves.

Persist Online is much more than just a survival game. It combines the exhilarating element of survival with the depth and consistency of an MMORPG, offering a unique and immersive gameplay experience that goes far beyond traditional survival shooters.

Will the world on the server change, and will there be upgrades for factions and characters?

Like most MMOs, the game’s core is a character progression system. You can improve your character’s skills throughout the game, choosing from 25 different skill trees and 250 skills. Players are given the freedom to create characters that suit their play style.

Additionally, the game features a family system, allowing players to have multiple characters. Players can increase their reputation and switch between different characters to solve different problems. For example, one might specialize in rifles and another in woodworking.

In the game world, you will meet many NPC factions, often living in fortified fortresses. Your attitude towards a faction can range from hatred, when faction members attack you when they meet you, to respect, when they are friendly to you and give you access to quests and other game mechanics inside their fortress. Factions live in this world, so your dealings with them have consequences. For example, some streets may be safe for players in good standing to travel to, while others may have to take a detour to avoid hostile factions. This dynamic creates a strategic element to navigating the world, as players must consider their relationships with various factions to navigate safely and efficiently.

Players can join groups or organized guilds. They can fight for control of territories around the world, gaining easier access to resources and sometimes other game mechanics. Thus, you also need to keep an eye on whose territory you walk on, collect resources and get loot. Or accept the consequences.

How many players can play on one server at the same time?

We want to support several hundred concurrent players on each server. Everything will depend on how adding new features will affect performance. But it will definitely be a multiplayer experience and not just a multi-player experience.

The game clearly focuses on PvP (PvPvE perhaps?). Will there be any PvE content available beyond co-op zombie slaying?

Definitely. Persist Online is designed with PvP in mind, but offers a variety of other activities. After all, not everyone wants to constantly experience thrills and danger, right? There will be many quests available from factions in the fortresses, where players will be able to learn the history of the game and the events behind the post-apocalyptic world. Quests can range from simple tasks to complex multi-stage missions that can take players to different regions.

The open world is also perfect for exploration. The entire world has been carefully designed, and the development team has added many interesting details and Easter eggs in different biomes. Each building can be entered, and each room is furnished with items and can be looted – if the building has not already been destroyed. We also plan to host events for players in the world, where they will have to unite to fight against sudden dangers. Additionally, we have challenging boss battles that require team coordination to survive.

The game world itself is a challenge, thanks to the day/night cycle and weather system that affect visibility, enemy behavior, and resource availability. Players need to adapt their strategy depending on these changing conditions.

Can the developers tell you about the crafting system? What about the mechanics of construction? Are there other non-combat skills besides fishing?

We don’t have the classic building mechanics like many survival games. This is mainly due to the constant gaming world and the support of hundreds of players. However, the player’s bunker can be upgraded using resources collected during their adventures. A bunker is a safe haven, separated from the dangers of the open world. There, players can unlock new gameplay mechanics that allow them to craft higher quality items or access more storage.

The crafting system requires raw materials. You get it by dismantling items you loot or collect in the game world. It is impossible to create all items at once. You will need to examine an existing item you have (while destroying it) to obtain the blueprints. This will allow you to craft an item. Our loot system offers items with great variety. They can have different qualities, different characteristics and modifiers, which provide interesting opportunities. Combined with the skill system, this provides players with the ability to optimize their build and the need to trade with others.

Why did the team decide to make a game about zombies? I ask because zombies were very popular 5-10 years ago, but in recent years their popularity has declined in favor of other settings. Do you think it’s time for a revival?

We think we’re doing something completely new with Persist Online. A persistent game world full of zombies and mutants, where players fight for their survival and form teams to gain control and advantages. And let’s be honest—zombies never really get old, right? We also have mutants for more variety in gameplay.

In our opinion, the genre has changed little recently, and we wanted to make a game with constant progress, where all our achievements are not lost after dying or ending the session. Persist Online is trying to achieve this. It combines the threat and thrill of survival with the rich and persistent world of a true MMORPG.

When I first read about Persist Online, I immediately thought that this was the game that H1Z1 always wanted to be before finally going into the battle royale genre. What specific games were the developers inspired by?

We definitely loved the idea of ​​H1Z1 and what Daybreak had in mind for it. When we had the initial idea for Persist Online, we were discussing where the survival and battle royale genres might be headed in the next few years. One of the options for us was to create a version where the game world would be permanent and the player’s progress would not be lost when moving from session gameplay to an MMO.

Our commitment to creating games with player-driven stories and high-stakes gameplay has been heavily influenced by games like DayZ, Rust, and Escape from Tarkov. We admired the way these games created tense, unpredictable environments and wanted to combine those elements with the persistent world and RPG mechanics of traditional MMOs.

Additionally, we took inspiration from classic MMORPGs, including our own Tibia, to ensure that Persist Online maintains the depth and community focus that makes MMORPGs so exciting. The sense of exploration, the importance of relationships between players, and the constant character development from these classic games helped shape our vision for Persist Online.

By combining all of this, we aim to create a unique combination of survival elements and MMO gameplay that will stand out.

Are you looking to attract Tibia fans or are you hoping to expand into a more 3D survival/PvP style? What MMO and online games do you think the ideal Persist Online player is into?

Of course, we hope that Tibia fans will find elements they like in Persist Online. But our main goal is to attract a wider audience who loves PvP and sandboxes. We want to attract players who value the strategic depth and community of classic MMOs, while also gravitating towards the action-oriented gameplay of survival games. Ideal Persist Online players may also enjoy games such as ARK: Survival Evolved, Conan Exiles or The Division, where exploration, interaction and dynamic environments are key components of the gameplay.

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