Published by: Microsoft
Asheron's Call Official Page
Expected Release Date: Holidays, 1999
Hey, I think I hear Asheron calling
Are you lonely? Do you spend long nights alone, with nothing but your monitor's soft glow to comfort you? Is the closest you've come to social interaction in the past year posting your profile on FriendFinder? Did the only person answering your ad end up being related to you? Perhaps it's time to find a place where you'll be understood and accepted - and what better place than online with a bunch of other gamers who need to go outside more often?
The old school players out there may already be familiar with the concept of MUDs, or MultiUser Dungeons. MUDs are text-based environments one can telnet into and play around in. They are generally set up to be RPG-esque "kill monsters and gain power," but they also tend to have a fairly strong sense of community. They generally have chat 'channels,' news boards, direct talk and room say commands, etc. In fact, some people make characters to do nothing but chat.
These days, though, text-based environments are about as high-tech as a bean burrito. Your average modern gamer demands graphics, 3D acceleration, and sour cream. Luckily, Asheron's Call provides two of the three. It is true that conversations are still held via text in general, but even still, you're conversing with people whose graphical representations you can see. They can make gestures, such as expressing anger, happiness, or throwing up the west side, as well as moving around. You can also do text-based expression of emotions, or "emotes," as they're often referred to.
For those of you who missed the boat on Ultima Online and Everquest, or are simply searching for more, better, faster, Asheron's call may be your favourite new online toy. You can continue your favourite pastime - running around in a 3d virtual universe - while simultaneously building social skills, by having such conversations as this:
h@rdCOrE ganGSta: hey do u no where I can get
som good armor?
Dark Lord Sith: ur not the king of porn!!!
h@rdCOrE ganGSta: don't mess wit me I know
where u live
Asheron's Call isn't publicly available yet (it soon will be via the beta disc in November's Computer Games magazine), but we were invited to participate in a special beta test of the game. After spending loads of time online with several different and diverse characters, we're ready to give you an in-depth preview of what's in store for all you online gamers, or even those looking to start.