- Saga (2008 video game)
Infobox VG| title = Saga
engine = Wraith
release date =
March 4, 2008
platforms = Windows
requirements = Windows
input = Keyboard, mouse
"Saga" is a massively multiplayer online real-time strategy game (
MMORTS). Saga is touted as the world's first collectible online real-time strategy game. It was also named the most anticipated release of 2008 by TCGPlayer. [cite news|url=http://www.tcgplayer.com/db/game_review.asp?AID=2093&PID=232&DBID=4|title=SAGA Named Most Anticipated Upcoming Collectable Game |publisher=www.TcgPlayer.com|date=1/11/2008] Saga was released on March 4th 2008 after a brief Open Beta which begun February 26 2008. [cite news|url=http://www.playsaga.com|title=SAGA release date|publisher=www.PlaySaga.com|date=2008-02-14] Developed by Wahoo Studiosand Silverlode Interactive[cite news|url=http://xboxlive.ign.com/articles/892/892321p1.html|title=A Kingdom for Keflings Revealed|Publisher=www.ign.com|date=07/22/2008] , the game ran a closed Beta starting July 5th 2007. The title has no subscription fees, unlike most MMOs, instead being supported by the release of booster or expansion packs. It is possible to play a free version of the game, with certain features locked, at the Saga official site [www.playsaga.com] .
Saga launched into hobby stores around the US and Canada following
GAMA2008. SAGA has partnered with Alliance Game Distributors, GTS Distribution, Diamond Comicsand ACD Distribution, with an emphasis to focus on game and card stores to sell the booster packs. [cite news|url=http://www.mmortsgamers.com/index.php/Saga/Saga-Announces-Booster-Pack-Distributers.html|title=Saga Announces Booster Pack Distributers and States Shipping Date |publisher=www.MMORTSGamers.com|date=2/04/2008]
Programmer Dallan Christensen (Lead Programmer of ) was lead programmer contracted by Wahoo Studios in the development of Saga. [cite news |first=iTZKooPA |url=http://www.warcry.com/news/tag/dallan+christensen|title=Saga Brings MMO RTS Action to Beta|publisher=www.Warcry.com|date=2007-06-19 ]
Saga is set in a
fantasyworld where an age-old strife exists between five competing Gods. Each God heads up a faction with unique races and abilities. The factions are Magic (Dark Elves), Machines (Dwarves), Nature (Elves), War (Orcs), and Light (Giants). Each faction is diametrically opposed to two other factions. For example, Machines hates Magic (they are naturally opposite, technology vs. mysticism), and Machines also hates Nature (machines vs. living things). Nature also despises War, for their tendency to destroy nature. Light faction are champions of order and justice, while Magic faction delve deep into the black arts, and the circle completes itself. Each faction has an ethos and a strategic quality that sets it apart, giving players a spectrum of play styles to identify with. The system is designed to create a balanced tension between the factions, giving each faction two archenemies and two neutrals to war with or form alliances with. The result is a world where endless war is inevitable. [cite news |first=iTZKooPA |url=http://pc.gamezone.com/news/06_29_07_12_03PM.htm|title=Producer Jason Faller talks about the persistent-world RTS, Saga|publisher=www.GameZone.com|date=2007-06-29 ]
Saga combines the
TCG-sensibilities of , the MMO persistency of RPG’s, and the kingdom management and mass battles of RTS titles such as . [cite news |first=iTZKooPA|url=http://www.destructoid.com/interviewtoid-saga-producer-jason-fuller-with-bonus-pre-beta-key-contesttoid--33717.phtml#comments|title=Interviewtoid:Saga Producer Jason Faller|publisher=www.Destructoid.com|date=2007-06-25 ]
Gameplay in Saga is best described in two states: kingdom management and battle.
In keeping with the
RTSgenre, gameplay in Saga revolves around managing a persistent, online kingdom. Each player is given a plot of land by their faction God, which they must develop and improve. These improvements include building defensive walls and towers, researching new technology at the university, and harvesting the available resources. [cite news |first=iTZKooPA |url=http://tgnforums.stardock.com/?forumid=141&aid=141628 |title=Wahoo Studios Announces MMORTS |publisher=Totalgaming.net |date=2007-01-19 |accessdate=2007-03-06]
Additionally, players maintain a population of peasants, which rises and falls depending on the popularity of the player as a leader. Unpopular leaders can suffer riots, leading to extensive damage to structures and mass desertions by peasants.
Saga employs a booster pack system to amass troops. Each player receives an initial starter pack, as one would with a
TCG, featuring a collection of various individual troops. These troops must be placed into like units to create an army. When more troops are needed, players buy “booster packs”, which are a random selection of 10 troops ranging from common to rare. These troops can then be drafted into existing units, or traded off to other players. Through the trading system, players can customize their armies and trade for exactly what they are looking for. Trading takes place in the market, which also allows for resources to be traded, and troops to be bought and sold.
Units grow in experience, increasing their base efficacy. Additionally, units can be further upgraded through collecting special gear such as armor and weapons. This gear is obtained through Questing against computer-controlled opponents.
Combat in Saga is
real-time, in keeping with the RTSgenre, and consists of maneuvering units around the field to fight and gain an advantage over the enemy. Spells, special abilities and reinforcements add to the various strategies that can be employed to gain an advantage. Battles can be fought against computer-controlled opponents through the Quest system, or against other players in PvP battles. While quests largely take place on neutral battlefields across the world of Saga, PvPbattles are city-to-city conflicts between the competing players. PvPbattles can be fought between two or four players, either on teams or as a free-for-all. In PvPcombat, the two (or four) players have their kingdoms stitched together so that battles take place upon their lands. Being a persistent world, damage inflicted during PvP battles carries over, including the pillaging and destruction of opponent’s buildings, and the death of troops. (Dead troops can be resurrected in temples using God-favor, a combat-based resource) PvPbattles can be fought in “scrimmage” mode, which allows for players to compete without any permanent damage being done to their kingdoms or troops, however, no experience or resource rewards are accumulated through “scrimmage” games.
* [http://www.playsaga.com Official Website]
* [http://mmohub.org/2008/saga "Saga" Review on MMOHub.org]
* [http://www.teamcovenant.com Articles based on SAGA gameplay and lore by TeamCovenant.com]
* [http://saga.teamcovenant.com/?cat=243 Saga Interview by TeamCovenant.com]
* [http://pc.gamezone.com/news/06_29_07_12_03PM.htm Saga Interview by Gamezone.com]
* [http://www.destructoid.com/interviewtoid-saga-producer-jason-fuller-with-bonus-pre-beta-key-contesttoid--33717.phtml#comments Saga Interview by Destructoid.com]
* [http://www.gameshark.com/features/327/Saga-Interview.htm Saga Interview by Gameshark.com]
* [http://www.firingsquad.com/news/newsarticle.asp?searchid=13960 Saga Interview by FiringSquad.com]
* [http://www.strategyinformer.com/pc/saga/interview.html Saga Interview by StrategyInformer.com]
* [http://www.sagaunits.com/sagaguide Saga New Player Guide by SagaUnits.com]
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