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Author Topic: Chronicles of Spellborn is out!  (Read 8250 times)
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Razgon
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« on: December 12, 2008, 04:59:47 PM »

So, a game I never thought would see the light of the day, is out - Chronicles of Spellborn. For those unawere of it, its a well..indie developed I guess you could say european MMO, with a rather unique setting, and a rather interesting way of handling combat, using Sigils or Runes sorta, on a wheel, depending heavily on strategic developement of ones abilities.

for those interested, the game can be played for free till lvl 7 after which you have to pay the subscription fee.

For now, its europe only, but as someone over at OO noted, with a little tech knowledge, and a european proxy, you US people can join the game as well

account creation here: https://eu-players.tcos.com/

I'll post a little more about this, once I've played some more, but for now, the very unique setting and atmosphere is keeping me in the game
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Warfran
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« Reply #1 on: December 14, 2008, 12:30:02 AM »

Chronicles of Spellborn has always interested me, tried to get in the beta but never had much luck.

Looking forward to hearing your take on it Razgon.
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Razgon
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« Reply #2 on: December 14, 2008, 08:45:34 AM »

So, I've played a bit now, and can tell you something more concrete about the game than just that its out :-)

The game is...different. From the time you start your character creation, you'll notice that something isnt quite the way you'r used to MMO's being. MAinly, its the graphics, which for some reason reminds me so much of planescape, even though they are rather beautiful, with a tendency to overbloom whenever you enter a house for some reason.

Character creation is very fun - There are 3 basic classes, Warrior, Rogue, Spellcaster, which all at lvl 5 specialises into one of the professions making the total 9 classes playable. WHen you've selected class, its time for race, Human or Daevie - Think giant humans with strange inverted goatlike legs, I dont like them, but I love the humans and their looks. Usual selection fo body types, hair and faces, and then...then you select your clothing and armour. And this is the first place you notice that TCoS is different. You get to look totally über ríght from the getgo - you have a gazillion different ways to costumize your armour, down to the two main colors that your wrist armor have, to the weapon types you use - you decide, and this makes your character look awesom from the beginning, and, if you so wish, like this the rest of the game.

You see, your weapons and armour doesnt decide your stats, thats Sigils that decides this.  Sigils you can add to your armour and weapons, that you can either craft, buy or find throughtout the world.

The World...Well, After a great cataclysm, you basically live on an astroid, protected by a thick layer of ice.Protected, because out there, is the Maelstrom, a vortex of magical energies that will rip you apart if you step out unprotefed by either the thick ice covering your Shard as they are calleed (yes, there are MANY of those), or are in ship, travelling between the Shards.

This travelling isnt possible from the beginning though, since only full citizens, members of one of the five High Houses, can travel on the ships. You'll have to choose what House to belong to, and they each favor different aspects, Lore and information, The Sword and brutality, Money and so on.

The world is really beautiful, and you immediatly get a feeling that this is a real world. I'm a bit unsure what casues this, but maybe its the fact that it ISNT your cookie cutter WoW clone world with fantasy elves and orcs, but something else. Yes, the enemies in the beginning are Wolves, Boars and Bears, and some local wildlife but mainly the three first, but, these live in the forest, like they are supposed to, and damn are they agressive.

The NPC's are kinda like other MMO's NPC's, but, with one major difference. The "talk" options are rather interesting, in that you for instance, if you thank an NPC for some information, he might give new talk option, giving you more information. I've insulted one enough that he didnt let me complete the quest until I spoke respectfully to him. Its really not much, but its enough to make it a bit more interesting to talk to NPCs.

The quests are like many other quests, but, you dont get held by the hand. The location might be "Somewhere south of the farm" or "near the clearing to the south of the forest", which I kinda like, You can see a lot of attention has been taken in making the map, as it looks more like a stylized map with major landmarks, than a modern day supercorrect map.

Combat...well, this is where things really set themselves apart - Combat is extremely tactical, in that you have a combat wheel, that turns from tier 1, to tier 2 in your first levels, and you have to decide which 3 skills to add to the combat wheel (think a davinci codewheel from that movie). Whenever you use a skill, the wheel turns, and the first one is on a cooldown. The trick here is, you get a lot of skills, and have to decide how to use them on the wheel, thinking combos and survivability. VERY fun!

Levels you have two off - One, the standard "fame" level, which is your normal level, and your Personal Experience Points (PeP), which there are 5 of. Gaining one of those, gives you some rather nice bonuses, but the thing is - once you die, you LOSE a level in this. And damn do you want to keep this!

Now, dont get me wrong,TCoS has its share of problems, the dutch developers are clearly more or less indie, and there is a lot of functionality that you see in other MMO's that simply isnt here, but...for now, I dont care, andlike any other MMO, I am sure in 2-3 months, most of those will be in the game.

So, this was a bit more messy than I orginally intented, but I hope you guys can use the writeup to something,and feel free to ask questions here, and I'll try and answer them.

oh,and one more thing, you can play thegame for free till lvl 7,and then you have to pay. Only, you dont have to buy the game, just pay the subscription fee, which is 12 euroes, thats it. And yes, I did so - I love the feel and atmosphere of the game, its so different. So, for me, with the option to play for free to lvl 7, which WILL take you 3-4 hours, its a no brainer.
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morlac
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« Reply #3 on: December 14, 2008, 04:21:14 PM »

Hmm I am intrigued for sure.

Have you tried the different classes?
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Razgon
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« Reply #4 on: December 14, 2008, 06:24:31 PM »

Quote from: morlac on December 14, 2008, 04:21:14 PM

Hmm I am intrigued for sure.

Have you tried the different classes?

yeah, I have a spellcaster which I made into an Ancestral Mage, who's lvl 9 now - at lvl 10 I get acces to sigils bigtime, so looking forward to that a lot! This spellcaster is a petmage, but a word of warning, pets are...useless right now, or at least it feels that way.

But dont worry, mages are tough! They stand toe-to-toe with enemies, and can heal...pretty cool stuff

Starteda rogue class which is just lvl 5 now andabout to choose a discipline,and a warrior I just made into lvl 6 - making him a wrathguard. Basically, its an aura warrior, pretty damn tough.

I'll post some pictures later tonight :-)
« Last Edit: December 14, 2008, 06:43:29 PM by Razgon » Logged

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Aganazer
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« Reply #5 on: December 15, 2008, 03:37:28 PM »

I really enjoyed the trial. The registration is IP blocked for most of the world, but you can use www.ping24.org to register.

The atmosphere of the game was so relaxing. It made me want to take my time and explore every corner of the map. I like how the environment is realistic in many ways. It looks like there are enough farms and livestock to feed the population. The wildlife is generally contained to the woods and only occasionally wanders into the roads. By having lots of NPC's and a natural environment it makes the player feel a bit more heroic rather than just another player.

I've seen some interesting animal behavior. Chickens race away from the player. Wild horses keep their distance while keeping an eye on the player. While fighting bears and wolves they tried to lead me deeper into the forest. Some animals (and people) only fight in groups occasionally trying to lead you into the group. I've gotten so used to controlling MOB's behavior that its nice to see them trying to control my behavior. IMO it will be the AI that keeps the game interesting. That is what set Diablo 2 apart from other hack'n'slach roguelikes.

With such an awesome AI programmer, I hope they do some work on the NPC AI in towns. The towns feel pretty lifeless right now. Most of the residents have something interesting to say, but it would be nice if there were chat bubbles similar to the NPC chatter in City of Heroes. Those CoX zones always felt very active.

There are plenty of things that the game needs. LOD geometry on MOB's needs some work. There is no auction house. I found an empty cave that flagged me PvP, but didn't contain any crafting resources. I like the idea of resources being collected in PvP areas. The cave was huge and had a seamless transition from the outdoor zone which was nice.

With so many interesting MMOG's coming out in the next six months I'm not sure if I'll stick with TCoS, but I will certainly be subscribing for at least a month when it is released in NA.
« Last Edit: December 15, 2008, 04:06:08 PM by Aganazer » Logged
Razgon
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« Reply #6 on: December 15, 2008, 05:20:55 PM »

At 18th of december, the first content patch will roll out - they will reveal a bit every day, and today, they revelaed some of the new hoods to be found in-game

looks rather nice actually :-)

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« Reply #7 on: December 15, 2008, 05:41:02 PM »

Quote from: Razgon on December 14, 2008, 08:45:34 AM

Combat...well, this is where things really set themselves apart - Combat is extremely tactical, in that you have a combat wheel, that turns from tier 1, to tier 2 in your first levels, and you have to decide which 3 skills to add to the combat wheel (think a davinci codewheel from that movie). Whenever you use a skill, the wheel turns, and the first one is on a cooldown. The trick here is, you get a lot of skills, and have to decide how to use them on the wheel, thinking combos and survivability. VERY fun!

First off, thank you for the writeup.  I remember The Chronicles of Spellborn being announced ages ago, and thinking the lore they had going on their website (also ages ago) was pretty cool.  I also think I like the artstyle of the game, as it's different.  I will also admit I never thought the game would actually see the light of day.  Guess I was quite wrong.

My questions revolve around this combat wheel thing.  I simply don't understand it.  Are there like slots or something on each tier?  You mention 3 skills to add, is that per tier?  Do certain skills have a tier associated with them?  Is it sort of like Guild Wars in that you have like 60 skills, but only so many slots?  How many total tiers are there?  Do the number of slots you can put skills in grow in number as you level up?

Is it sort of like two people can have a mage class, and one slots his tiers with control-type powers (tier 1 - mezz; tier 2 - hold, tier 3 - stun).  Meanwhile, Mage #2 picks combat-like powers (tier 1 - ice blast; tier 2 - flamestrike; tier 3 - Arcane Blast).  Or am I totally missing it?

 
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Razgon
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« Reply #8 on: December 15, 2008, 06:44:26 PM »

Imagine a cylinder, that rolls around for each time you use a skill on it

First "tier" contains 5 slots, of which you can only use three from the beginning, here you add your skills,dependant on what you want your "opener"to be
once you use a skill, the cylinder revolves, giving you acces to the next"tier", which is basically just another set of skills that you have put in there - They can even be the exact same ones, although the cooldown may not have finished yet for the skill you used in Tier.

At level 5, you have 3 "tiers" of 3 slots each, giving you a total of nine selectable skills for combat, 3 for each "Tier". You decide completely what to put in there, melee, ranged, buffs, debuffs, magical attacks and so forth, so yeah, if you are two people you can do what you talk about, its just not very viable when you solo. You need versatility

And yes, I have more skills than I have slots (for now, that is), so I have to choose.

For instance, I have 1 melee skill on each tier, that cools down very quickly, so that I always can use that, instead of having to WAIT at a tier - the trick is, to make skill use as quick and as strategical smart as possible, i.e. skills that work well together. You know you always use tier 1 first, then tier 2,and then tier 3, so, stringing together a selection of skills that WORKS together.

For instance, I use a skill that makes any melee attack give me health in tier one, at tier two, I use a skill that gives me health whenever I hit with magic, and at tier 3, I use a shield. Then, as Tier one begins again, I attack with melee, tier 2 with magic, and tier 3, melee.

Now, the buffs I used are probably wearing out, so I rinse and repeat  :-)

did that make more sense?

OH,and I totally agree, I didnt believe the game would ever come out!
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Razgon
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« Reply #9 on: December 15, 2008, 06:53:19 PM »

heh,thought I'd show you instead - here are a few pictures that probably explains it better.

Picture one is your skillbook, i.e. your total amount of learned skills

Picture two is your selcted combat skills for the combatwheel

picture three is the combat wheel itself, in action,so to speak :-)

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Aganazer
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« Reply #10 on: December 15, 2008, 07:10:04 PM »

To expand on what Razgon said...

You start with a 3X2 deck. That is three abilities available on the current row and two rows. When the cylinder turns another row is displayed. The deck expands as you level up. You typically group like abilities in a column like range damage, melee damage, or debuffs. When you are fighting the cylinder rotates every time you use an ability. You group them so that you won't need to change the selected column as the cylinder turns. Changing the selected column is done by using the mouse wheel so its fairly quick and intuitive. Using the ability is done with a mouse click. You can even keep the mouse pressed and you will automatically use the next ability in the selected column once it is available.

When making the 'deck' you can use all of the same ability or a mix of different complementing abilities. It makes you think about the cooldown of abilities and the order in which you use them. As an example I had two ranged abilities that I use to open a fight before using the melee abilities. I put the ranged attacks in one column of my 3X3 deck. I know that I will typically be on the third row by the time I am done with my ranged abilities so I made sure that my opening melee ability is on the third row.
« Last Edit: December 15, 2008, 07:30:13 PM by Aganazer » Logged
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« Reply #11 on: December 15, 2008, 07:48:16 PM »

OK.  I think I get it.  Thanks for explaining guys.  I appreciate it.

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Razgon
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« Reply #12 on: December 15, 2008, 08:00:13 PM »

let me know if any of you guys start up on the international PvE server, Daisomething... I'm starting up a  guild there soon, Shroud Postal Couriers.

Shroud is one of the 5 major High Houses there, and as stated on the website:

Quote
The oldest High House by anyone's reckoning House Shroud feels like a caring father to the other Houses, often taking up the role as advisers in council. They often provide a second opinion on matters and manage to acquire information and truths of old forgotten times that can prove crucial at any time. House Shroud never puts itself in the spotlight, yet prefers to remain backstage guiding the other Houses with knowledge, wisdom, experience and much, much more.
That they have a team of elite operatives at their disposal is merely an unsubstantiated rumour. After all, House Shroud's main operation is maintaining a smoothly running postal service. Anything else would be pure speculation in the eye of the beholder. Got that?[/quote]

 ninja
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« Reply #13 on: December 15, 2008, 08:11:47 PM »

Well I signed up for them - although not happy to be in the EU as a UK person I am EU frown

Anyway Acclaim appears to have different views on what constitues an EU

The below countries are NOT EU and therefore cannot play at the moment

Quote
North America, South America, United Kingdom, Albania, Andorra, Australia, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Israel, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Moldova, Poland, Romania, Serbia & Montenegro, San Marino, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain and Turkey.

Bizarre to say the least

Tals
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Aganazer
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« Reply #14 on: December 15, 2008, 08:13:48 PM »

Quote from: Razgon on December 15, 2008, 08:00:13 PM

Shroud is one of the 5 major High Houses there, and as stated on the website:

Is Shroud the high house that was almost hidden in that second zone? The one with the swampy area and the hand with water pouring out between the fingers? It looked very nice.

If so, that's probably the house I will join after the NA release.
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Razgon
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« Reply #15 on: December 15, 2008, 09:43:17 PM »

Tals - You can use the IP thingie someone posted earlier if you want to try it out? and yeah,pretty darn strange you'r not part of the EU. Perhaps its some new EU directive we havent heard of yet? You guys being sold to the States? ;-)

Aganazer  - I've no clue, I have four characters now, all between lvl 5 and 9, so I've only been in the beginning zones, and my guess is that it will be a while before I'm out of there...I'm an althoholic ;-)

As for House Shroud, I havent really thought much about the guild, but, I dont see it as a requirement to be part of the guild - At least not for GT'ers :-)
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« Reply #16 on: December 15, 2008, 10:49:54 PM »

Quote from: Razgon on December 15, 2008, 09:43:17 PM

Tals - You can use the IP thingie someone posted earlier if you want to try it out? and yeah,pretty darn strange you'r not part of the EU. Perhaps its some new EU directive we havent heard of yet? You guys being sold to the States? ;-)

Aganazer  - I've no clue, I have four characters now, all between lvl 5 and 9, so I've only been in the beginning zones, and my guess is that it will be a while before I'm out of there...I'm an althoholic ;-)

As for House Shroud, I havent really thought much about the guild, but, I dont see it as a requirement to be part of the guild - At least not for GT'ers :-)

Hmm.  I just tried www.ping24.org and got nothing.  I'd like to try it, but still not sure how to register an account.
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« Reply #17 on: December 16, 2008, 01:05:40 AM »

Quote from: Fez on December 15, 2008, 10:49:54 PM

Hmm.  I just tried www.ping24.org and got nothing.  I'd like to try it, but still not sure how to register an account.

Man I feel like an idiot. Its www.proxy24.org

Sorry for the confusion. From there I did a google on The Chronicles of Spellborn and went to their home page with instructions there. After you register you'll need to confirm by email so use the proxy for that as well.
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« Reply #18 on: December 16, 2008, 04:34:03 PM »

Quote from: Aganazer on December 16, 2008, 01:05:40 AM

Quote from: Fez on December 15, 2008, 10:49:54 PM

Hmm.  I just tried www.ping24.org and got nothing.  I'd like to try it, but still not sure how to register an account.

Man I feel like an idiot. Its www.proxy24.org

Sorry for the confusion. From there I did a google on The Chronicles of Spellborn and went to their home page with instructions there. After you register you'll need to confirm by email so use the proxy for that as well.

Thanks!  I got it up and running, and I'm currently playing on the PvE international server.  Seemed pretty dead last night when I logged in, although my time zone might have something to do with it.  Took care of the turnip situation for the farmer and then I had to log off.  Anybody else trying this out?
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Razgon
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« Reply #19 on: December 16, 2008, 04:37:24 PM »

I am - names are razgon, Mirrian, Nightchill and Khargol ...yours?
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« Reply #20 on: December 16, 2008, 05:54:33 PM »

Right now I'm going with Quinn, the female human spellcaster.  Are there areas where you actually need to group, like dungeons or something similar?
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« Reply #21 on: December 17, 2008, 07:36:57 AM »

Well, I played a bit more tonight.  I don't know, but it seems like the combats are too long and drawn out.  Something about the timing just seems off, and that is preventing me from being drawn in.  And, some combat is very difficult for my level 2 spellcaster.  Level 1 bears can get dicey, and more than 1 level 1 young wolf and I can't keep up.  Maybe it gets a bit better as you advance levels, but I'm not sure at the moment. 

When/where do you get new skills?  I didn't seem to get any at level 2, or if I'm supposed to "train" somewhere, I'm not sure where to go.
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Razgon
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« Reply #22 on: December 17, 2008, 08:58:59 AM »

Skills are automatic - you gain them from level 3. Automatic in the way, that when you level up, you should open your spellbook, and then it says "learn new skill", which you press, and select your new skill

As for combat - well, thats the exact same reaction I Had first time, it was too hard. Now, mylvl 1 chars dance around and kill anything. Combat is VERY different.

First off, you can actually avoid any attack from the mobs, especially any animals. If you notice it, you can see there's a slight animation delay right before bears, boars and wolves attack, and you can strafe away from that. That part takes a LOT of practice, but its possible.

Secondly, and most importantly, even if you area spellcaster,do you just wait for your two spells to cooldown, before attacking at each turn of the combat cylinder? Remember, string together every attack you can, be as efficient as you can, that means, your two melee attacks should be used as well, whenever you other abilities are on cooldown.

Hope it helps :-)
« Last Edit: December 17, 2008, 09:32:09 AM by Razgon » Logged

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Aganazer
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« Reply #23 on: December 17, 2008, 03:10:52 PM »

Keep in mind that if you're playing from America that there is some latency. It may not be the nasty kind of rubber-banding and lagginess that we associate with latency, but there is enough to make dodging attacks have their timing off a bit since your server position is always going to be a sec behind your client position.

I've noticed that the combat in this reminds me a little bit of Gothic 1&2 in that player skill increases at about the same rate as character skill. My first character had to rest after every fight. The character that I started last night killed all 10 bears and wolves without having to rest once. Just make sure you're using FPS mode while fighting (R) and you'll get a feel for it soon enough.

I enjoyed the game starting out, but I didn't really start to foam at the mouth until I got to level 7 and had finished exploring the next zone. The zone itself was a little more interesting and my character was able to flesh out his attack chains. It also wasn't until then that I was comfortable with the skills, deck, and PeP. Then again maybe it was because a Deathhand is such a badass class.
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« Reply #24 on: December 17, 2008, 04:11:40 PM »

THanks for the thoughts.  I started a spellcaster and picked "Tap" (a healing spell that gives you healing when you cast magic) and I think it's called "Pounding Rocks".  I chose to stay in my cloth look, but I think that armor makes no difference in stats.

I've been pretty much using pounding rocks to open, as it decreases at least one enemy's stat by 1, in addition to damage.  Then, I'll usually use "Tap" which lasts 12 seconds to start getting some health back on the next spell cast.  If ponding rocks is back up next I will use it and get some health back as well as doing some damage.  At times, though, it seems like the reactin to my skill presses is a bit slow.  Maybe that's the lag.

However, I haven't tried the first person "R" mode yet.  You mention "dancing around".  Does the usefulness of that depend on the class?  I didn't see much use yet as a spellcaster, unless it only becomes so in the first person mode.
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« Reply #25 on: December 17, 2008, 05:12:27 PM »

every class type can avoid being hit, its just a matter of moving before you get attacked, but..I'm not very good at it myself, but its doable. But remember, keep your attacks stringed together all the time, so that you dont have to wait once the cylinder has turned.

Also, avoid dying - once gain a PeP (Player experience something with p) you'll be a lot stronger, and deal more damage, and move faster :-) whenver you die, you lose an entire rank in PeP
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« Reply #26 on: December 17, 2008, 05:14:14 PM »

Quote from: Fez on December 17, 2008, 04:11:40 PM

However, I haven't tried the first person "R" mode yet.  You mention "dancing around".  Does the usefulness of that depend on the class?  I didn't see much use yet as a spellcaster, unless it only becomes so in the first person mode.

I found dancing around to be easiest with the warrior classes. They buff their physical stat making them move faster. For any class you should be dancing a little. Anytime you're waiting on a cooldown you should try to get out of melee range. With some practice you can stay behind those starting MOB's about half the time. That should cut your downtime in half.

Definitely get used to using 'R'. It will make combat flow much easier. Its a PITA when you need to loot, but I keep mouselook mode on 99% of the time.
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« Reply #27 on: December 27, 2008, 02:41:16 AM »

Well soo how is it now that the honeymoon is over?
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« Reply #28 on: December 27, 2008, 08:35:49 AM »

Quote from: morlac on December 27, 2008, 02:41:16 AM

Well soo how is it now that the honeymoon is over?

that was mean!! I'm playing AoC now ;-)

Anyways - the game is still fun - Its an MMO, and its biggest flaw right now, is that fact that the servers are all ghost towns - theres probably not more than 50 people above lvl 20 these days and the IP block of especially UK, and the fact that the publishers in the rest of europe seems to vehemently oppose any kind of marketing, is slowly killing it for me...

That, and a few bugs made me want to wait until january when the next big patch is suposed to hit, made me put it on hold for now.
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« Reply #29 on: December 29, 2008, 03:55:16 PM »

Quote from: morlac on December 27, 2008, 02:41:16 AM

Well soo how is it now that the honeymoon is over?

I live in America so I am waiting for the NA release before I play anymore. What will be cool about this game is that you don't need to buy a $50 box just to play. Its a simple matter of paying the $15/mo subscription. I am seeing very little reason not to try it for a month while waiting for other MMOG's to come out.

But the word on the street is that the current servers are dead. I calculated that the game has been released to 2.5% of the world population and it has 6 servers which is about 4 too many for that territory. There also seems to be a quest gap at about level 26 which will likely be addressed in an upcoming patch. The delayed NA release will probably be a good thing since it gives them time to work out any issues like that.
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morlac
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« Reply #30 on: December 30, 2008, 01:23:26 PM »

Sounds good, I too am waiting for the NA release and willing to try it for $15.  I wish Warhammer and AOC had that option as I would have saved myself $35.
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Fez
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« Reply #31 on: December 30, 2008, 10:23:52 PM »

Yeah, I got to about level 5, but the fact that I saw generally one other character running around at most made it a bit boring.  And the combat pacing feels a bit slow with the combat wheel.  Maybe I'll come back to it later.  I was kind of curious to see how it all worked in a group format, as I could see the combat wheel adding a very interesting strategic element to working together that other games lack to some degree.
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rittchard
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« Reply #32 on: March 13, 2009, 10:08:38 PM »

Looks like North American Closed Beta / Acclaim servers are finally coming around for this game.

http://tcospellborn.com/2009/03/13/acclaims-spellborn-closed-beta-started/
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Barrakketh
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« Reply #33 on: March 13, 2009, 11:31:59 PM »

I was in the closed beta last fall. I only had a couple weeks before it went to open beta and North America was locked out, but I enjoyed it a lot. Had a Void Mage up to level 13. I've been following the patch notices for the EU version. It's kinda cool to see them specifically mentioning fixes to things I remember sending in feedback or bug reports on.

I can't believe how long it took Acclaim to get their act together. Hopefully when it launches there'll be enough interest that the servers aren't deserted.
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Razgon
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« Reply #34 on: March 14, 2009, 08:08:31 AM »

Quote from: Barrakketh on March 13, 2009, 11:31:59 PM

I was in the closed beta last fall. I only had a couple weeks before it went to open beta and North America was locked out, but I enjoyed it a lot. Had a Void Mage up to level 13. I've been following the patch notices for the EU version. It's kinda cool to see them specifically mentioning fixes to things I remember sending in feedback or bug reports on.

I can't believe how long it took Acclaim to get their act together. Hopefully when it launches there'll be enough interest that the servers aren't deserted.


I enjoyed my time in it, but ultimately, too many things didnt make sense when I tried it - but, like so many MMO's, I do believe it will reach its full potential within 6 months after release or so, so...I'm keeping my eye on it :-)
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rittchard
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« Reply #35 on: March 19, 2009, 10:32:53 PM »

They supposedly released another 30k beta keys today - anyone?
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Barrakketh
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« Reply #36 on: March 23, 2009, 11:20:22 PM »

It's wide open now. All you have to do is sign up on the acclaim site, then download the game, which is a little over 3GB, before it inflates up to around 8GB.

It's technically open beta, but they say there will be no wipe before official launch. I'm sticking to the level-capped f2p area until Acclaim gets their credit card option set up - no way I'm paying for their "coins".
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Razgon
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« Reply #37 on: March 24, 2009, 06:54:16 AM »

And a good way to see if the game is something for you. It is quite different from other MMO's, in that its a "Twitch" MMO actually. You have to move around a lot, fps style, and you have to actually position yourself so that you can hit the mob, or player.
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Aganazer
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« Reply #38 on: March 24, 2009, 08:15:50 PM »

You might want to check out a couple videos of the game to see what its like beyond the free starting area.

The following video is about a new instance that is released in the latest patch.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4H6HqceTauU

The next one is a trailer, but it shows off a lot of the zone content past the free starting area.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bDBgGg_I6AU

I really enjoyed this game when I tried the EU trial. I'll be subbing for sure as soon as they get a couple more patches out. Its the first MMO we've seen in years that has a *real* combat system rather than another EQ-clone with auto-attack and zero mobility.
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rittchard
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« Reply #39 on: March 25, 2009, 11:30:13 PM »

First impressions: game looks and feels good. Character creation gives you a lot of options in terms of costuming and colorization, not as much as CoX series but much more than most other MMOs these days. I was able to create a (hopefully unique) look which I really liked a lot from the getgo. The tutorial is reminiscent of EQ2 and Morrowind where they place you in an instance on a boat and you get to learn the interface at your pace. It feels like a fairly polished single player RPG opening. Combat is kind of different, though they only teach you the very rudimentary portion of it. Involves a lot of mouse action, RMB to target and LMB to attack.

But then, they dump you on the starter island/area. It looks great but the tutorial kind of ends abruptly. You pick up starter quests which are essentially the same as any RPG, fedex and kill X. Unfortunately the map is not as friendly as games we are used to (some might like this) so I found myself running around a lot aimlessly. I found it difficult to find quest goals in general; the map only helps a bit and the radar only shows a quest goal once you are very close.

The Kill X quests would be fine, but the mob populations were scarce (seems to be a bug hopefully) and combat is much more difficult than a conventional MMORPG. Even facing down 1 same level mob took me to the brink of death or got me killed. That said, the combat skill deck system itself (which unless I missed it was never actually explained in the tutorial) is very unique and cool. (This is on top of the skill-based combat Razgon talked about in terms of positioning, aiming, etc). It took a while experimenting but I finally got a sense of how to set it up - basically it involves creating combos or possible combos and mixing in button presses with clicks. Your core combo might be melee actions, so you put the skills in slot 1 of the first and second "decks". During combat, you hit LMB to activate slot 1 of deck 1, and then if you don't change anything, deck 2 appears and you can hit LMB again to hit the second part of the combo. Now something might change in mid-combat, you might want to cast a heal instead, so if you had slotted that in slot 2 of deck 2, you can hit "2" and LMB to cast that instead. Not a great description, sorry, but it definitely makes for more involved combat even at this early stage.

Anyway, game could use some polish, but I do like the combat system so it's kind of a toss up at the moment. I could see some intense duels or PvP using this combat. I just wish the game sucked you in a bit more at the outset.

From day 2:

Played about another hour or so before I went back to WAR. The game world still looks gorgeous, and I really like the combat system more and more. It definitely feels more dynamic and interactive than conventional MMORPGs and even at this early stage I found myself needing many on the fly adjustments while in combat. This is with only 2 "decks" and 3 "slots" on each deck open. It looks like at max you open up 5 (?) decks with 5 slots each, which would probably be pretty insane. In addition, each skill itself seems to have mods or something on them, I didn't bother to look into the details yet. So the game seems to have a fairly intricate character system, with 2 different types of levelling ("Fame" and "PeP") which I believe translates to questing and mob-killing. Sounds good on paper but seems to unfold excruciatingly slowly. This is made worse by the lack of mobs I already mentioned. People in chat seem to suggest skipping the mob kills and just doing regular quests; however unless I am mistaken the main quest line that allows you to leave this area forces you to kill mobs, so you're stuck unless you finish that. At that point I lost my patience and stopped.

Haven't given up completely as it's still in open beta, but things are not looking good. It's a shame because it really seems to have some different ideas and a rather unique combat system.  I will likely try again, hopefully the mob populations for particular quest mobs (young bears) will be enhanced and I can move out to outer areas.
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