Spellborn, impressions version 1


I have been depressingly pessimistic, not to mention un-enthusiastic about new MMORPG games. To understand why my gaming libido has been in a downward spiral you have to first understand a few things.

  1. I used to play WoW as a priest with a packed raiding-schedual that consumed my life. When Burning Crusade changed the role of priests, I lost everything I’d been familiar with about the game. Not wanting to restart or relearn, I left and haven’t been back since. (much to my friends dismay).
  2. Then a game I’d been waiting years for came out. Pirates of the Burning Sea which for awhile was very fun. Sadly (or realistically?) the game was more difficult than I’d bargained for. Trying to get your entire nation to work in one direction = extremely difficult. I’d  decided at some point to take a “short break” and somehow never quite made it back.
  3. After that (or before that?) I played Tabula Rasa for all of… 1 day.
  4. After that Howard and a few others were getting all excited about the Age of Conan release. It looked amazing, and  the first 15 or so levels were a blast. Then it petered out like nothing was anywhere near done after level 15. Some people like me hung on and prayed for some improvements. But the game (on my server) lost people in waves, each wave of people leaving = less fun. Three months later I finally decided to scrap it, the game wasn’t complete and it was heart-crushing. <3 Necro.
  5. Followed by Warhammer, which held my attention for a bit longer. Still not quite long enough, the end-game wasn’t quite there and it was taking me forever to level. I’m a slow leveler by nature but after awhile I just felt like I was stuck in the mud no matter how fun it was. So I “took a break” to play Fallout3, DeadSpace, Left4Dead, and Prince of Persia.

Which give or take a wee bit brings us up to now. I’ve had a relativly long string of “3 Month Bust” games at this point. After warhammer I vowed not to “pay” for another “new” release until I heard from the game-community how it was holding up at that 3 month mark.

Chronicles of Spellborn had been in my perifreal vision for awhile, but I was amazingly reluctant to play. Even after finding out that some area’s of it were “free to play” and that I would get “2 free premium weeks” on top of that. Yes it sounded neat, it had a few intresting mechanics that in-theory seemed nice. I wasn’t convinced but it still found its way onto my laptop, and I found my way into the game. At present time I have a level 7 Rogue Trickster, and a Level 4 Warrior (soon-to-be Adept)

shot2009-4-26-65808288

Dress to Impress the game claims… Ok so never having to wander around with a mix-matched clown-outfit, or deal with a robe when you really wanted some pants (or vice versa) just because of stats is nice. The armor doesn’t appear to have stats when you first  get it, and any armor I have found so far (in drops or by way of sales) has been purely cosmetic. At some point in the near future I will have figured out the use of Sigils which to-my-understanding can be equiped into your armor and thus provide your stats. At the moment I’m not quite at the level to use it, soon… I promise I will know if it really works or if the outlook is bleak. (P.S. Same appears to apply to weapons.)

Combat:

Choose your arch-type, then your specialty. As you can see in the upper right of my above screenshot I have 5 “bodyslots” which you get at level 5 and proceed to fill via your specialty. The one I have equipped at the moment is a sort of bomb which I use with the “Throw” skill. I’m excited that I don’t have to spend hours crafting a bomb, it seems to be unlimited. Your Skills, end up on a rotating thingy-ma-jigg. Right now I have 3 colums and 3 rows. So, I set it up… With a bit of fanangling I got a sequence down, and now all I have to do is…

Shit! Who made this a FPS! I need to AIM!? And MOVE?! ZOMG! (fun!) Ok, so at first I though oh no, this will be hard. Truely their rotating combat system (aside from giving you some hand-cramps for your life) make it easy. When I press #1 on my keyboard rather than imediatly having to press other keys to cast/do other actions… I’ve now queued all 3 of the skills I have in that column, which of course leaves me more free to do any nessacary moving/aiming. Whats even better is if I forget or get too busy moving and aiming, it will just keep cycling that column (triggering the skill is as easy as left-click, or hold-left-click to continuous cast.)

Problems with this so far… My hand hurts. Which, had little to do with the game, I promise most of the keys you use are right where they were in other games.

Other Stuff:

  • The graphics are modest, non-cartoony, no huge massive thrills of beauty and splendor.
  • Leveling is steady, and so-far a good mix of quest-types. (minus slow spawn times and too many people.)
  • The game remained stable for me, and I haven’t run into any glitches or bugs (yet, I’m waiting…)
  • There are no skirts/robes and, at the moment most of the armor seems to be limited to the few choices you had when you made your character. Also the color pallet is not terribly expansive.
  • The UI could have been condensed and made prettier, there are several screens (character, skill, skill-dial, ect) that could have been compressed down to tabbed-menus… BUT this is my opinion and really, its functional… so… preety can wait.

So everything works (so far) in the way it was intended (I hope) and the people (in chat) seem nice enough folks to make a good community. (Minus the whiners you get in every game who expect a diamond in a cardboard box)… Now I just need  to take some time, level up and check out the end-game. This might take awhile since there are (reportedly) 50 levels.

I also still need to look into the PvP aspect. How will the house-system work? It is sort of RvR, but with designated area’s for PvP? Ok…. Intresting. I’ll admit to being somewhat confused… (At least the game-mechanics should make PvP intresting.) I really would like to take this time to point out that I have been spoiled, I want to kill off my competitors when there are not enough mobs and I can’t.

Be on your toes!! Be armed!! Oh yes I forgot! You get jumped in combat, you have to unsheathe your weapons before you can fight back. Normally I would not worry about going AFK and knowing a mob might attack me. In this game I do, rather than punish me for dying, I get rewarded if I stay Alive… PEP points ftw. They give you bonuses and the longer you are alive the more you accumulate and the more powerful they are (or so I hear). Then when you die, they take them away.

shot2009-4-27-76619696

I thought the first zone, was all non-PvP… I was wrong. Shown above is what’s being called the MOSH PIT stepping inside counts down 25 seconds until you are active PvP. Outside, your safe. Did I forget to mention that there is a respawn point directly behind it?

All in all I will keep playing for awhile and see what happens. Its not a WoW, or an EvE or anything else that might get a ton of players so far as I can tell. Considering that  there was no box-release, and you don’t have to buy it, combined with how quiet the release was (I actually missed it if that says anything) I’m not expecting fancy. It’s stable and so far fun, but it’s more like playing some of  the other free-to-play/then-pay games… like PrismTales, MapleStory, MU…

Is it bad to think that the non-hyped non-huge-commercial release makes me feel more optimistic about it?

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