In Into the Echo, players will be able to travel through the echoes of time and visit the same region in different eras. This adds an extra dimension to the game world and sheds light on the events of the present.
In August of last year, the Canadian studio ETLOK Studios announced the development of its MMORPG Into the Echo and explained the title by the desire to integrate a time travel system: players will have the opportunity to explore the “echoes of the past” to shed light on the present.
What form does this time travel take in practice? The development team explains in an interview with PCGamesN how it came about. By definition, an MMORPG is based on a universe in which players immerse themselves and for more coherence, the studio ETLOK has laid the foundations of a very rich lore built on a long history. The present of the world of Raava is explained by the numerous events that punctuated its past – this history was to be revealed through “historical texts”, or even novels published on the official website.
The studio will publish this historical framework of the world of Raava, but considering the volume of stories imagined, the studio also wished to integrate them in-game. And the best way to do this is to have players travel back in time to experience these past events.
When we think about an area [of Raava’s world], we don’t just imagine what it looks like today, we automatically have to think about what it looked like in the past. And if the players choose to pull a thread to the origin of something, there will be a story to unravel.
The concept of an echo is that whenever a significant event occurred in the past, it left a ripple in the ocean of time that echoes into eternity. Players will be able to tap into these echoes and travel back to that important moment in time.
The developer sees this as a way to “add a new dimension to the game world. In Into the Echo, time travel is not a “sci-fi concept” but a sacred ritual: “Players will need to collect items and perform a ritual to enter an echo. The operation requires a bit of caution, however, as a single location may have several echoes (at different times in the world’s timeline) and according to the developer, “each echo is associated with a mystery or story, so each journey can be an experience in itself. To spice up these journeys, “Time Guardians” watch over the echoes and during their travels, players will have to avoid or confront them.
In the interview, the developer also discusses its previously mentioned non-linear “beam” progression system – based on the fact that there is no final goal to reach in Into the Echo (to avoid the player trying to maximize xp gains to reach the final level as quickly as possible), but a wheel of skill trees allowing players to choose which skills they want to learn and at what point in their progression.
The studio also specifies that players will necessarily have to work together (players will need each other to progress, some activities will require hundreds of players to mobilize), but the developer also integrates asynchronous interaction mechanisms for players with a solitary temperament who prefer to avoid too direct interactions.
Similarly, the developer will not be incorporating open PvP into its MMORPG (to avoid the excesses of griefing), but will offer a form of competitive gameplay that allows players to compete against each other (to be announced later) and Into the Echo will also offer forms of group battles, guild vs. guild and faction vs. faction – details on how player battles will work will be announced later.