Star Sonata is a space-themed massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMO), that uses a third-person 2d overhead view similar to that of Asteroids. In addition the game offers complex and involved commerce, construction and team systems. The goal for players in Star Sonata is to bring their team to domination and claim the seat of emperor. In an interview, developer Adam Miller was asked why he decided to create a game like Star Sonata. He responded "We designed Star Sonata out of a nostalgic childhood dream of space adventure."
The game is free to download and play, theoretically for an unlimited period of time, but developing a character past a certain point requires a paid subscription. Each account can support up to 5 characters.
At the lower levels, Star Sonata is largely a space trading game, where the player can make money finding and running trade routes from one station to another. Later on, players can make their own automated slave ships to run trade routes even while off line. At higher levels, players build their own custom space stations which can mine commodities off of planets and moons that can then be sold to either neutral space stations or to insatiable player-founded colonies. Many of the better items in the game are either constructed on player stations or else bought from colonies with ancient ruins that the inhabitants excavate and sell. Discovering trade routes and good planets to build upon and colonize makes much of Star Sonata, especially at the beginning of a new universe, a space exploration game.
Combat in Star Sonata is in real time and completely player controller which is significantly different from the majority of MMORPGs. To initiate combat a player simply needs to target the enemy and fire. Due to the real time nature of combat there are a wide variety of tactics used including, but not limited to brute force methods, out-ranging opponents, and dodging enemy fire. Most enemies can be killed by a skilled lone player but most game content is geared toward small groups of players. Star Sonata also has an open PvP system in which players can attack other players near their skill level determined by the danger factor of the system they are in, their levels, and their glory and infamy ranks.
ConquestA major focus in Star Sonata is to claim a galaxy for ones team and develop it for whatever purpose intended. Players can build space stations to maintain control over their galaxies and use them to exploit a planets resources for their own gain. Players can found colonies on planets and can create empires in their own corners of the universe. When a team controls a large enough percent of the population of the universe their leader can be declared the Emperor of the Universe.
Being crowned Emperor has many unique benefits including a tithe on all scooped credits and a monopoly on Imperial seals. A unique feature of Star Sonata is that the game's Universe is randomized every few months. This allows for the game to remain fresh to long-time players and for new players to have a chance to claim a star system for themselves. A Universe reset is considered to be a big deal for most players and is also the time when most new content is added to the game. Also there is usually a big rush to sell certain items just before the reset because the price has risen by at least a factor of 2, caused by a increase in demand. Resets occur every 3 to 4 months.
Character development is based on gaining levels through meeting fixed experience point requirements, 1000 per level, with experience earned by killing computer-controlled enemies and finishing in-game missions. The experience returned from the former is based on the relationship between a player's level and that of the "AI" (computer controlled enemy). Defeating an AI of a higher relative level will gain up to 510xp, while defeating a lower one can result in as little as none. Each time a player levels they earn 5 skill points which can be spent on skills. Skills determine what equipment is usable or give small bonuses to different aspects of the game.
Characters are limited to level 300 without a paid subscription. They are limited to certain areas and skill levels. The full experience comes with a subscription which can be $10 US per month as the minimun cost. Multiple months are cheaper.
As of 2009, Owner Jeff Landauer reported that the game has over 1000 paying players and has an impressive growth rate. This does not include many thousands of free players. In a January 2008 interview Landauer stated that in the last 2 days and 11 hours 12,132 unique characters had logged in to play.
- ↑ http://www.starsonata.com/emperor.html
- ↑ Lafferty, Michael. Star Sonata’s Adam Miller conducts a tour of the MMO space title. GameZone.com. Retrieved on 2008-05-20.
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 Star Sonata review. GameZone.com. Retrieved on 2008-05-20.
- ↑ http://www.starsonata.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=22144
- ↑ http://www.starsonata.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=22449
- ↑ http://www.frappr.com/starsonata/map