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Black Gold will tackle PvP and vehicular combat with a fantasy spin

Snail Games' next massively multiplayer online game Black Gold will place heavy emphasis on player-versus-player scenarios and combat in various types of fantastical vehicles, producer Colin Miller told Polygon.

In Black Gold, players will join one of two factions in a war for a dwindling resource called black gold: the 1920s steampunk-themed Isenhorst and the Erlandir, a race made of up of fantastical creatures. The former is made up of humans, dwarves and vampires, while fantasy peoples include humans, humans, catlike humanoids and shapeshifters. Each race has nine classes with their own unique skillsets.

Miller says Snail Games decided on steampunk and fantasy aesthetics because they are two genres not often mashed up together, with the former being uncommon as the foremost element in many games.

"There are a lot of games that have steampunk in it, but I'm not familiar with many that make it the central theme of the entire experience," he said. "Fantasy and steampunk are in a lot of popular games, but they're never pitted against each other. That's the interesting dynamic here; you get to choose your side and give your in-game identity a really different feel."

But where Black Gold's strength lies in its combat, set on a stage spanning an open world with a dozen lush environments. In PvP combat, players will be able to use massive vehicles — both as modes of transportation and destruction. The steampunk faction will have giant mechs they can ride into the fray and that they must build up over time, while fantasy creatures are the preferred mounts for the Erlandir. Jumping into a mech switches players from third-person gameplay to a first-person view mode, in which they must gun down or shoot ice and fire at their opponents.

Players can also adopt pets, both for vanity and breeding purposes. As these pets grow, players will have the option to develop them into a mount. The fantasy creatures will mature through feeding and dutiful nurturing, while the steampunk races have mechanized pets. Players with mech pets will have to find parts for them and construct them over time.

There will be numerous battlegrounds on each server, with some catering to the game's open Realm-versus-Realm options and several that are accessible across a handful of different servers. The latter will allow players from those participating home worlds to engage each other in battle.

According to Miller, Black Gold is all about the PvP. The development team at Snail Games enjoys working on open world games with new spins on combat, and Black Gold will give players many options to tailor their PvP experience.

"The game was developed to cater more towards a PvP crowd," he said. "The focus between PvP interaction — those are the kind of games we like to play and make.

"PvP never really gets old if it's good. Content does."

Black Gold currently does not have a pricing model or release date, and will launch for Windows PC.