Getting confused over Fractured and Fragmented? Me too! Let’s add another into the mix: The Foundation! Actually, no, let’s back up. Fractured is a relatively new SpatialOS MMORPG sandbox, with planetary colonization, crafting, housing, skill- and reflex-based combat, and — critically — no grind and no forced PvP. While it’s been in production since January, it didn’t leak out to us until a month ago.
The Foundation is a new program Fractured’s developers at Italy’s Dynamight Studios have integrated into the game’s forums (so all you need to do to participate is create an account there). On the surface, it’s a “community engagement program,” which sounds either awful or mundane, but MMO vets who look more closely will find that it more resembles the incentivized fluff from direct crowdfunding — only you’re not paying for it. It’s meant to reward players for doing things like posting feedback and ideas, chatting with fellow fans, and sharing game updates, and it amounts to a minigame before the game is even out. Says the studio,
“By climbing the ladders of The Foundation, members of the Fractured community can obtain several unique rewards, among which forum and game titles, armor skins, mounts, and pets. […] These are the kind of rewards you would expect from a Kickstarter pledge pack. With The Foundation, they can all be obtained for free.”
The game does have a separate referral program in place already. Dynamight claims it will “stay clear of RTM cashbacks and other practices that could be considered controversial by the community,” such that “rewards for friends’ purchases will be limited to virtual goods, including hard currency.”