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Online gamers enter a world of dark despair and limitless opportunity in Shadowbane, a massively multiplayer persistent-world game and the first release developed by Austin, Texas' Wolfpack Studios. Though at its heart Shadowbane is a classic online fantasy role-playing game in the tradition of Asheron's Call or EverQuest, the game world of Aerynth was created to give players an interactive influence beyond simple monster hunting and treasure seeking.
As player characters grow in power and stature, they gain influence over the more basic structures of the game world, creating cities, forming alliances, gaining followers, and waging war. By allowing participants to develop not only the avatar inhabitants of the game world but also the societies to which they belong, the game is designed to encourage a new aspect of diplomatic strategy in online role-playing.
As players rise in rank they gain a degree of authority, which in turn offers more control over the world civilization as a whole. It is the players, not the game design, that determines when factions will clash and war will be waged. While guild houses are important landmarks, other buildings service developing cities as well. Barracks offer protection, churches offer healing, and shops and taverns offer other goods and services. In balance, these buildings require maintenance and protection by those they serve.
Player characters can forge careers as warriors, healers, mages, or rogues. Each class offers numerous subclass disciplines that further define abilities and restrictions. Character development is also influenced by social association and there are numerous advantages to allying with one of the many guilds of the land. While there are no class or race restrictions to joining a guild, different organizations offer benefits that may be more or less useful to those of a particular occupation.
Player characters emerge in a world plagued with darkness and despair. Five generations earlier the powerful deity of the game world Aerynth turned his back on creation and left his followers alone and unenlightened, sinking quickly into chaos and fear. A new dark age besets the land. While secrets of the ancients may yet lay buried in the remote tombs and deep catacombs of earlier societies, they are but half-forgotten legends to most. Yet to gain the wealth and experience needed to rebuild a worthy realm, brave individuals must adventure into the dark and dangerous untamed lands to reclaim them. ~ T.J. Deci, All Game Guide