Revelation of MMO Structure and World Map Emerges, Confirms Continuous Closed Beta Is Currently Underway

On the latest Dune: Awakening Direct from Funcom, Game Director Joel Bylos disclosed more insights into the upcoming survival MMO.

Kicking off, it was revealed that after the prior limited Closed Beta events, Dune: Awakening has now transitioned into the ongoing persistent Closed Beta phase, a clear progression towards the eventual full launch, enabling testers to delve into the entirety of the game. While the official release date is still unannounced, Funcom has teased an ‘epic’ gameplay reveal slated for Gamescom, which could be the platform for such revelations.

During the Dune: Awakening Direct presentation, the studio showcased the character customization tool, giving players the option to not only determine their character’s appearance but also their backstory, including their mentor’s expertise, like Mentat, Bene Gesserit, Trooper, and Swordmaster.

However, the most intriguing segment of the video was the breakdown of the game world structure. Funcom elucidated that there exists a top-down Overland map linking different expansive maps, one of which can accommodate hundreds of players concurrently. This decision enables the studio to feasibly expand the game in the future with additional playable areas compared to what a single map would allow. For those curious about the detailed functionality of the MMO aspect of Dune: Awakening, here’s a snippet from Bylos.

When initiating Dune: Awakening, players choose a world. It’s akin to selecting a server in an MMORPG, but it’s a vast network of interconnected servers. The concept is that as a player, you choose, you join, you start in a map, and from there, your exploration and immersion in the world should flow seamlessly.

The distinction in calling it a survival MMO, versus solely a survival game, lies in the fact that most survival games centralize around one map, one server. In contrast, we operate with multiple interconnected servers within a unified world, enabling a higher player capacity within this structure.

Upon entering the game, players commence in the Hagga Basin map, housing a minimum of 40 other players on a server. Here, one can construct, craft, survive, and progress. If your aim is to play alongside friends, aligning on the same version of Hagga Basin is advisable since there can be multiple iterations. Subsequently, you venture outward.

I can designate the specific Hagga Basin from which I commence. Therefore, if we commence Dune: Awakening simultaneously, I can ensure that we spawn in synchrony. Furthermore, our server browser also indicates your friends’ activity locations.Following your readiness to depart from Hagga Basin, crafting an ornithopter allows you to soar into the Overland map, granting visibility of all world locations. Transitioning physically between destinations on the Overland map is possible.

Among these possibilities are the communal hubs, Harko Village and Arrakeen, tailored according to various factions in the game. These zones serve as safe havens, tranquil under the Canley Peace. Visitors can explore bars, vendors, and home interchanges. And indeed, you and your companions can revel in the club festivities.

Progressing to the Overland map, you travel to the Deep Desert. A sprawling expanse, spanning a minimum of 500 square kilometers. In reality, it extends beyond that figure. This is where players can interact with hundreds of others in Dune: Awakening. While there may be a player cap if activity surges, considerable capacity is present, forming a seamlessly integrated set of interconnected servers.

This region predominantly operates as a PVP environment, with a buffer of PVE as players debut to prevent abrupt conflict. A notable feature of the Deep Desert map is the Coriolis Storm, resetting the landscape weekly, unveiling fresh points of interest, rendering it an endlessly explorable realm and a delightful social space with friends.

Despite the absence of a launch window, Dune: Awakening features prominently on the gaming horizon as one of the most anticipated multiplayer experiences. It is set to premiere on PC, PlayStation 5, and Xbox Series S|X, although cross-play capabilities are yet to be confirmed.

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