Dune: Awakening Direct delves into character creation and servers

Dune Awakening
Dune Awakening

Funcom has hosted a second Dune: Awakening Direct to reveal more details about its upcoming MMO, set in an alternate history Dune universe. This direct addresses things like the character creation system, how spirituality plays a part in the game, and how the server structure is set up to make Dune: Awakening a seamless MMO experience.

“Dune: Awakening” unfolds in an alternate universe where Paul Atreides never existed, and House Atreides survives the attempt to destroy it. This setting grants Funcom the freedom to craft a unique narrative within the Dune universe, empowering players to make characters who can  influence the world without Paul overshadowing everything. The war between House Atreides and its enemies does continue on the surface of Arrakis, yet the Emperor has decreed that the Spice must continue to flow without any hindrance.

One of the core mysteries of Dune: Awakening is the disappearance of the Fremen. They have left behind remnants of their society, and their disappearance also leaves a vacuum of power that different factions are trying to fill. It is not confirmed if the Fremen do still exist, or if they have been wiped out completely. The narrative diverges from the original books and movies, as certain characters who would have perished still live, and various factions are advancing their agendas without Paul’s influence.

In Dune: Awakening players will come into contact with different religious and spiritual beliefs, which differ from group to group. This feeds into the overall story of how the various groups and sects clash with each other for dominance of Arrakis. This influences the gameplay as players will experience the mystical trials of the Fremen and explore various belief systems. It’s important to understand that although Paul was on the Messiah’s journey in the original Dune story, the player’s character does not assume the same role of the Messiah.

The character creation screen at the start of Dune: Awakening will present a lot of customisation options to shape your character, though there are presets for those who want to just delve straight into the game. As you would expect from a character creator, you can change your body type, skin tone, hair style, eye colour, eye shape, age, facial hair, and height. Additionally, you ca adjust the thickness of arms and legs, the length of your character’s neck. The creator allows the addition of freckles, scars, tattoos and vitiligo as well.

After sorting the physical appearance of your character, you will determine their past. Choosing where you were born will impact the dialogue options open to you in Dune: Awakening, and also grant a unique emote associated with your birthplace. Following on from birthplace, your character’s caste is chosen, determining where in the strict hierarchy they land. The next choice is confirming who your character’s mentor was, and this grants a starting ability. This does not lock your character into a class or archetype, allowing for experimentation with more abilities as you make progress.

On the MMO aspect, it has been confirmed Dune: Awakening will have multiple servers and players can move between servers. There is an Overland map which connects various sandbox maps together. In the Deep Desert, hundreds of players can explore a map spanning at least 500 square kilometers. Meanwhile, in the social hubs of Arrakeen and Harko Village, the number of players is limited, but there are plenty of activities and vendors to interact with. The Hagga Basin serves as the starting area for a server, accommodating at least 40 players. Players have the option to select their starting Hagga Basin and can coordinate with friends to join the same one.

The Dune Awakening closed beta is currently underway on PC, and you can sign up through the Dune: Awakening website.

Source: YouTube

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From the heady days of the Mega Drive up until the modern day gaming has been my main hobby. I'll give almost any game a go.

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