It’s taken longer to get to this post than I imagined. But that’s actually not a bad thing — there’s been a glut of paid writing on my plate that took priority. I’d much rather be playing games and writing about them, but for some reason, the people who send me bills expect me to pay them. It’s quite rude of them, really, but I’m told it’s standard operating procedure and not actually personal.
Even before I had responsibilities to fulfill, I found myself thinking about this post and not knowing what to write. So much of the game play is exactly what MMO players are already used to — start an autoattack and trigger abilities when they are ready. Most of the classes I tried out had some mechanic to add a little flavor to each class. The bard was probably my favorite of these — each ability is a different chord and hitting a C-D-C combination grants a buff to attack and damage. I only brought my bard up to level 7 so did not discover if there are other “chords” leading to other buffs as the class advances, but I found it an amusing little twist on the standard mechanics.
But other than the attempt to put twists onto old familiar mechanics and, of course, that the game can be played without making a purchase, there is very little I can say about the game that is positive. It’s incredibly linear. There are three starting zones: one for humans and dwarves, one for elves and stonemen, and one for the forsaken (vampires, basically, though more Twilight than Nosferatu). However, once your character reaches level 10, it’s off to the game’s main city, and as far as I can tell, everything is identical from there. There is a main quest line, and it MUST be followed. Must, must, must. Choosing to go off the main quest line is only viable if you have no wish to craft — job points are only rewarded from progressing this quest line. There are side quests and “gear instances” available — inevitably the main quest will pause until you can reach the required level for the next step, and the side quests fill in that blank.
The game issues characters their first mount when they reach level 20, but even the free mount is more frustrating than anything. It only lasts for a limited time, about 5 days. And not 5 days of use, not 5 days of game time, but an absolute 5 days whether you log in or not. I really can’t think of anyone that would be pleased by this mechanic — obsessive gamers might not notice it and might even obtain a faction mount (or purchase a cash shop mount) before that time runs out, but many people will have life interfere and log in only to find they’re back to being a pedestrian. This happened to me — after obtaining my mount for my first character, a forsaken assassin, I started making alts and trying out other characters. When I got back to the assassin, I had two hours to level from 21 to 30 or had to go without a mount. I chose to try out a Protector, and ultimately, I chose not to think much about this game.
I believe that this game is good for young teenagers that have not played MMOs and do not have the option to play a subscription game. But that is the only group I recommend it to.