'Black Gold Online' Release Date: Beta Launches June 20

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"Black Gold Online" will launch its beta on June 20.

Tired of playing “World of Warcraft?” Snail Games’ “Black Gold Online" may be just the MMO that’s been missing from your life.

The massively multiplayer online game, which enters its beta phase on June 20, is a wide-ranging mix of steampunk and fantasy. We spoke with the game’s developer about it on Tuesday at the Electronic Entertainment Expo in Los Angeles.

“‘Black Gold’ is a game where players can create their own character,” Snail Games Community Manager Kevin Doyle told IBTimes. "They enter this fictional world we’ve created where there’s a lot going on, but they’re creating their own story by interacting with the computer and with other characters. The game is built around this unique art style. It’s a clash between steampunk and fantasy and magic.”

snail Snail Games at E3.

When players start the game, they can select from one of two clans -- Isenhorst, a steampunk, technology-based faction, and Erlandir, a group of people focused on magic and nature. The two groups are constantly at war over possession of “black gold,” a substance for which the game is named. Erlandir wants to use black gold for magic and healing, while Isenhorst hopes to use the material to power its technology and advancement.

“The full game will have six playable racers and 18 playable classes, so you can really mix and match to create what type of character you want to use,” Doyle said. "Each race will also have its own storyline and background. However, the game’s beta, which will be launched on June 20, will have only four races available."

The game’s characters will also have an eclectic mix of powers and abilities.

“Our game blurs the lines between the abilities of the characters,” Doyle said. “The classes fit different roles. In our game, one character is a heavy-duty tank type character who can also summon animals. Once you choose your class, you go to our in-house-developed character creation. You can go into every single detail -- skintone, height, what your pupils look like. The same goes for the character’s bodies. We think that’s really important for MMOs. People want to make their characters themselves.

“The game is a social game,” Doyle said. “There are different types of abilities where you have to team up with other players to complete certain tasks. There’s a lot of secret activities you can do that gets you special bonuses, ultimately the goal is to level up your character and get special equipment to get your character really strong.

"In addition to the open world game, there's also organized battles and other types of activities. There's organized battlefields. You team up with other players from your faction in these big open battlefields, up to 25 players. You defend your people, you capture flags. There's also open world events where monsters pop up and you have to fight them."

The title's beta will open on June 20. You can sign up for the beta here. 

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