• Equestria Online: Leaps and Bounds



    For those of you who have had your heads under a rock for the past week, I'll give you the lowdown- Equestria Online is an entirely fan-made MMO project that has existed for some time now, but was recently brought to the spotlight again in the form of a panel at BroNYCon.

    From what I heard of the event, the demo presented was extremely impressive. Unfortunately, what was recorded at the show was not of the highest quality (and apparently flickered so much that it had the ability to cause seizures.) In that vein, the EQO team has recorded a new demo of the pre-alpha software build and put it on their Youtube channel. I'll be going through that in an in-depth review after the break!

    Before I do though, be aware that this team is looking for experienced concept artists! You can find the application form on their forum here. I would highly recommend checking that out if you want to lend some talent to this team.







    Like most MMOs, Equestria Online is striving to provide excellent character customization, and even in this early build you can see the possibilities. Not everything is implemented yet, but you can change the color of the coat, the mane, the eyes, and have quite fine-grain control of the cutie mark, which has three separate parts to it. Future iterations promise hoof styles, stallions, and other goodies.




    Upon entering a server, this is where you currently spawn. The keen-eyed among you will recognize it as Ponyville's central park (though there is a real park beyond those houses!). As this was recorded for a Livestream, you can see the other developers playing around as well- an assuring nod to the network code, which will be critical when the game goes live.

    On a side note, the sitting down pose is beyond cute.




    The pegasus race has the ability to fly, of course, and you can see that demonstrated here. The animations are understandably a little rough, but one would assume they will be refined and tweaked.

    As I watched this segment, I found myself guilty of forgetting the crucial fact that gets lost sometimes about this game: it's all fan-created work, and it's all done for free on their own time. The fact that this is so easy to forget is a testament to how well put-together everything is so far. I could easily imagine sitting down and playing this game right now, even in its unfinished state. The fact that it looks and feels so much like a studio-produced game is pretty staggering to me.




    Interiors are being developed as well, of course. As the mini-map implies, this is the interior of Sugercube Corner, with an NPC manning the cupcake stand. They don't talk much at the moment, but a dialogue system is in place.


    Waterfalls!



    A quick overview of Ponyville can be seen here, and here you can get a real sense of scale for how big this town is. Scroll back up and compare the buildings! It's quite impressive.




    Friends lists have been implemented, of course. Can't have an MMO without a friends list!




    Here you can see how the dialogue or speech bubbles will work. I wouldn't be too worried, little NPC pony- BroNYCon is totally over. You're not late anymore!



    There is much more to the video, which clocks in at about a half an hour long. I encourage you to check it out and see for yourself why this might just be the game that you want to be playing in 2012. I know I will be!

    See you in Ponyville, everyone.


    EquestriaOnline.com | Coming When It's Done

    72 comments:

    1. Ohh.. I'm going to play this so hard when it comes out.

      I would love to help if i was any good at digital art... 3D modeling i can do though...

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    2. My head wasn't just under a rock... it was under at least thirty.

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    3. Okay. That's it. I lack a hard drive so I cannot use my laptop. I am going to proceed to kill myself because I can't do this.

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    4. Lol I didn't want first anyway

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    5. My computer's gonna be working full time when this comes out.

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    6. I saw this on the livestream. Really quite amazing what they managed to pull off already. Though they can't implement the mane six :( bummer.

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    7. Yep. This game in general looks awesome.

      Although I'm a bit nervous that the community that will flock to this is the creepy kind

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    8. It was a cool tech demo, but what do you /do/ in EQO?

      Also getting players to be anything but pegasi is going to be a challenge.

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    9. @Schlagwerk

      Let's not forget it's in pre-alpha mode right now. The goal is first to build a world worthy of doing stuff in.

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    10. When I heard about it first, I wasn't sure how this was going to turn out. But it does look like it is coming along nicely. I just hope it doesn't run into any major problems.

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    11. So will Earth Ponies get the shaft in this?

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    12. It will be interesting to see how they will support a large amount of bronies playing at once. Will they be paying for a server host, or will they be running dedicated servers on their own machines?

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    13. This just looks amazing. Can't wait for when it's finished! Keep up the awesome work developers.

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    14. This, if nothing else, will finally cure me of my world of warcraft addiction I think lol

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    15. Seems like I got my head under the moon itself...
      This looks amazing!
      I will throw my life away and play this 'till my computer breaks apart, when it comes out! :D

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    16. I belive Earth ponies won't be neglected. On the homepage there is a part about growing crops, among other things, and everypony knows that's what Earth ponies do best.

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    17. Omg finally. Good news. Ive been having a pretty bad day so far....

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    18. Looks interesting. Wonder if they're working on a lightning system though.

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    19. I predict there will be LOTS of pegasi.

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    20. From the demonstration at BroNYCon I've gathered that earth ponies have far better farming capabilities (aka MMO mining). And unicorns can use magic!

      So I can imagine at first they'll be more pegasi, then unicorns, and finally more earth ponies when people realize earth ponies are the best.

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    21. I really am eager for this.. I just wish I could help in some way!

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    22. I think the classes will be fairly balanced.. I like flying, but seeing the epic teleporting across the map and making apples was kinda cool. Earth ponies will have neat abilities I'm sure (in the video the have descriptions of the classes and they mention how the Earth ponies are best with animals so maybe they can summon pets or the enemies can get controlled as pets).

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    23. Looks promising, now I can scratch that "Sims" game off of the monopoly infringement list, one less case to deal with, a few more hours for fun!

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    24. It's looking really good so far. Unfortunately, I missed their panel at BroNYCon. So this is a good catchup. The scenery and houses really look great. Interiors too from what I've seen. Really putting quite a lot of work into this game. I can't wait until it;s finished. But I'm in no huge hurry. The more time they take on it, the better it will be in the end. :)

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    25. I've been waiting quite some time for this game, great to see all the progress! The people working on this game are awesome!

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    26. I am kinda concerned about the logistics of how they're gonna handle running the servers vs cost, and the legal ramifications of doing so vs potential copyright infringement with Hasbro. I understand they're going to do a free-to-play model, but running a server and maintenance for an MMO services isn't free, nor does it take insignificant amounts of time.

      Even so called "free-to-play" MMOs have to make some sort of revenue somehow to maintain service on a large enough scale to support a fan base such as this. That's where cash shops come from on those types of MMOs. These guys unfortunately can't do that here, unless they somehow manage to get Hasbro on board to sanction it. But then, Hasbro then gets to start calling the shots, and I doubt these guys are gonna want that (but then again, if Hasbro gets in, then they start getting paid; six of one, half dozen of the other situation).

      All in all, great effort, and I hope to see it come to fruition, but once the game itself is done, then comes the hard part of logistical support for it once it's on the market. That is what I'm interested in seeing how they handle things.

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    27. This is insane. I haven't seen such a polished spare-time project in years.
      My fervent wish, though, is that the game will give you something to DO if you want to (MMO style) rather than strictly roleplay (MUD style). I like the idea, I just think I'd get bored after a while.
      Hell, if Minecraft looked nicer, I'd just use that.

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    28. Depending on how many coin flips I perform, I'd have to go for either pegasus or unicorn when this comes out. Flying is nice (trust me on this one, I'm a pilot) but being able to teleport and perform spells would be awesome as well.

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    29. Looks epic, but will it work on mac?

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      Replies
      1. Unix runs just great in Macs. It came installed, but you may need to update it.

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    30. I'm still curious as to how they'll support the servers. I'd hate to see this go public and then not be able to handle it for long... I imagine it can't be cheap.

      I think they should start off with something like Minecraft's approach, only having player dedicated servers at first.

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    31. @OtterMatt

      This is an interesting point. What would we do? There's going to be a battle system so that would be fun. I guess they'll be fetch and craft quests and the like. I guess you could collect 'bits' and buy things. Oooh, buy clothes? Hats, socks, scarves, etc?

      Hmm, try to get a ticket to the Gala so you can get access to rare items or games?

      Now that I think about it, there's plenty of things that can put into the game.

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    32. @Downfall

      I did a quick search on their forums (which seem very active, hint hint) and this thread confirms it:
      http://www.equestriaonline.com/forum/index.php?topic=2101.msg57302#msg57302

      Yes, it will work on Mac.

      Linux users? Um... acquire a copy of Windows and dual boot.

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    33. I'd love to help out but I'm pretty much limited to drawing with pencils and paper until I get a tablet.

      Plus 3D modeling is a major pain in the flank haha XD

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    34. It does indeed look pretty awesome.

      Also, I hear that everypony on the writing team is both amazingly skilled and devilishly handsome...

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    35. Man I wish I could help out! but my lowly background in C and C+ programming is just not compatible with the OS's, software, and programming languages used to make games these days.

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    36. like those new fangled computer drawings or handrawn ones cuz i'm only able to do the latter not the former

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    37. This looks pretty promising. Think I'll be looking forward to this.
      I'm pretty picky about this kind of thing tho since I get bored easily with them.
      We will see.

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    38. This is just insane being purely fan-created work, I'll be sure the check it out when it's done.

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    39. <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3
      <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3
      <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3
      <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3
      I typed all of those <3's by hand.
      This is going to be the best pony rp in the relatively short history of pony rps.
      YAY.

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    40. Looks promising, but as with all MMOs, what will make or break the game will be the combat system.

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    41. This looks like so much fun. I would definitely be a unicorn.

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    42. I've certainly heard of Equestria Online before, but this new preview is amazing! It's hard to believe how far this project has come, and how much potential it has. I wish I could help with their project, but I'm not that good at concept art and I'm still a learning coder, so I don't think they'd want me mucking things up. I'll definitely keep this in mind, and get in the Alpha as soon as it's open for non-affiliated bug testers.

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    43. i will be looking forward to playing this game when it comes out but it will take me FOREVER to pick a race a cutie mark and a name

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    44. I will play this game endlessly O.o

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    45. definitely playing when it comes out

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    46. Wait... You mean I have to chose between Earth and Unicorn ponies! Noooooo-wait-ThisIsGonnaBeSoAwesome!

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    47. @hyreia

      Thank you kindly for you time and information.
      (^_^)

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    48. "Friends lists have been implemented, of course. Can't have an MMO without a friends list!"

      Yea, but especially considering the show the game is based on being about friendship and stuff :P

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    49. @Kitsunekun VII

      I know, be nice to have alicorns as an epic unlockable sort of thing like death knights or the epic archetypes on city of heroes!

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    50. I want to be an unicorn already *o*

      If this could be endorsed by Hasbro at certain point of its design, it could get support for the servers and this could also be distributed with -and work with- Steam.



      Dont say anything. I reserve my right to dream.

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    51. It... works on Mac? :O

      I can... play this game... and have fun... even though I have a Mac? :'D

      Yesyesyesyesyesyesyes!!!

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    52. At first, I was going to say that I wouldn't have described it as studio-quality material, but then again, it *is* pre-alpha after all. That, and even then I'm probably focusing too much on how rough the terrain is looking and the lack of lighting. Either way, the models of the buildings and such are looking far, far better than last time around I took a look at the project, six months or however long it was ago!

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    53. Wondering if character customization will make zebras playable.

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    54. @Schlagwerk
      The three races are going to be balanced. Earthponies have advantages over the other two races, unicorns have advantages too. Unicorns can teleport, earthponies are the fastest runners and can last longer in battle.

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    55. @Schlagwerk
      *Facepalm* I forgot to reply to your question in that other comment. There's gonna be a LOT to do on Equestria Online, including fighting monsters. It's not gonna be completely about fighting monsters, so people can also just hang out, play minigames, and generally do stuff that earns them cutiemarks. There'll probably be stuff like crafting, mining, tailoring, etc. And of course, there'll be lots of places other than just Ponyville.

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    56. @Chaos15
      Earthponies won't be getting the shaft. The Equestria Online time is actually doing a pretty good job at balancing the races. Earthponies are the fastest runners, can last longer in battle, and can carry more stuff. Each race has its own advantages and disadvantages.

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    57. @Baron
      Lots of pegasi, lots of unicorns, and actually a lot of earthponies. Like I've said in other replies (is there a way to reply to multiple people in one comment? I'm new), they're balancing all the races, giving them their own advantages and disadvantages. :3 I'm pretty sure it's not gonna be predominately pegasi.

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    58. @OtterMatt
      If you haven't found out yet, you're in luck: Equestria Online isn't gonna be just roleplay. You'll be able to fight monsters and do quests and other such things. They're gonna make it pretty diverse with lots of stuff to do.

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    59. @Gakumerasara
      I know I'm late commenting this, but.. Yes, there will be combat. :3 The game won't be completely based around combat, but there will be combat.

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    60. Ok so, I don't know if I'm late or anything, but the website has been taken down, the initiator of the project trying to get the project back into his hooves.

      It's all a bit blurry. And the message on euqestriaonline.com certainly does not clarify anything (mostly the part of what is going to happen now).
      So... what happens now ??

      At the very worst the group should separate and we end up with a fork. Though it sure feels like there is a lack of love and tolerance in the air : maybe it won't go that well...

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    61. where you can download it, please quickly because I want to play it!

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