The influence of both Stardew Valley and Breath Of The Wild cannot be stopped. Exhibit #23590: Palia, which seems to contain elements of both. The announcement trailer shows lush, green hills, players using gliders, and a focus on farming, home decorating and romanceable NPCs. What sets it apart is that it’s also an MMO.
Here’s the trailer:
Palia’s developers are explicit about wanting to provide a cosy play experience that’s as much about creativity as anything else. The game’s press release talks about a “flexible fashion system”, and the ability to become “an award-winning cook, or the best gardener in the world.”
I’m unsure how these activities link to its multiplayer elements, or exactly how “massive” an MMO it is. The press release also mentions a “social matchmaking system”, suggesting its world will be instanced, but I don’t know if you’ll be gardening together or merely jogging with bows and bug catchers as per the video. Is it an MMO, or is it just co-op Stardew Valley with strangers and a better update pipeline – the Temtem of farming?
Palia is being developed by Singularity 6, a new studio founded by veterans from “Blizzard, Epic, Riot, Zynga and Sony”. Side note: these companies are so large, and employ so many people with such low staff retention, that basically every new studio I hear about is founded by former employees of these same companies.
However staged it may be, the trailer is cute. I feel like the robot man with the straw hat is a cheap trick to charm me, but it worked. It has also been a long time since anything in the MMO genre has caught my eye, and frankly I’m just glad to see a game that’s borrowing from places other than EverQuest.
We’ll learn more when Palia’s pre-alpha launches this summer, and you can sign up to be involved via the official site.