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War of the Ring dev plans new RTS venture

Atari to publish Liquid Entertainment's "Dragonshard" on the PC next year.

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Image credit: Eurogamer

The Lord of the Rings: War of the Ring developer Liquid Entertainment has signed a deal with Atari to create a new PC real-time strategy title by the name of Dragonshard, which is due out in spring of 2005.

"Ed Del Castillo and the team at Liquid Entertainment have a long history with the real-time strategy stretching all the way back to the original Command & Conquer," said Atari's John Hight, fresh from singing Obsidian Entertainment's praises earlier in conjunction with the Neverwinter Nights 2 announcement.

"Dragonshard will take real-time strategy in new directions by using many of the unique aspects of...traditional role-playing. We are also taking advantage of new surface-level terrain-rendering technology to give the player two distinct levels of play; new squad and leader tactical functionality to give the player an all-new army experience; [and] a new base development system," he added.

According to reports, Dragonshard will feature three factions battling for control of a place called Eberron; the key to their success being a huge "Dragonshard" called the Heart of Siberys, which is hidden somewhere and which all three groups are battling to control for various reasons. The human/dwarf alliance The Order of the Silver Flame, who sound like the good guys, want to stop it falling into The Wrong Hands(TM), while the dark elf/undead Umbragen want to be those wrong hands.

We're also told to expect a third faction, which "remains veiled and mysterious, its intentions unknown." So presumably we shouldn't expect them right from the start. In any event, we shouldn't expect any of them until early next year, but we will expect more details and shots in the near future.

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