Monday, October 09, 2006

The Chronicles of Spellborn: A Preview


Today's preview is about a unique upcoming MMORPG called The Chronicles of Spellborn(TCoS).
Their website is:

The game is set in a post-apocalyptic dark fantasy world, where the Ancestoral world was destroyed and the knowledge/artifacts of the past were locked away within it. The Oracle is said to know all that happened, yet will share with no one. And so on. There is a VERY detailed story, ways to interact with the story(through scroll on their webpage), and alot of story discussion in the forums. Definately the perfect game for any RP'ers.

Aside from the story aspects(not very important to me), one of the most exciting features of the game is the unique combat system. They blur the line between MMORPG and MMOFPS, as all skills and attacks require aim, via a cross hair. Now initially this may seem to be annoying, but through the combination of their skill system (explained next), it becomes a very active game, requiring both skill and tactic: something few of the current games accomplish.

The skill system is one of the first I've seen to actually make using skills more than just a point-click system. It consists of a "skilldeck", where you select which skills you place in each Tier. Then as you're in combat, the skills rotate on a cylinder, as you choose which skills to use, and through this, you can make starting combos, finishing combos, and all sorts inbetween. This is where it can get interesting, as at each position on the skill selector (the cylinder), you can only choose from those skills listed. So preparing a versatile skill deck is very important. Think kinda like Guild Wars, where you can only bring X amount of skills into battle. Combining this with an FPS aiming style, the game adds a whole new level of "skill" required, and decreases the advantage of playing for 20 hours a day.

Aside from the combat changes, the game also follows the road less travelled in other areas, such as character development. When you create a new character, you can choose anything from wearing armor only on certain parts of your body, tatoo's, about a billion faces and so on. There was extensive work put into this part of the game so that there are essentially no two people alike. You'll notice I said armor, which is an important aspect of their system, your armor has LITTLE to do with your actual character, but more based on appearances. The game strives away from grind as much as possible, while still keeping enough to attract hardcore gamers. Take armor/weapons for example, they do not drop from monsters themselves, instead broken pieces do, which you can turn into a weapon via NPC. I would prefer a system of rares from mob drops, but I can see the advantages of their current system.

Also, there is little hunting for rares involved, with the exception of a few runes you can place into slotted weapons to gain a benefit. So as you can see, the game is much like a hybrid of FPS/RPG, taking some excellent features from both. Also, from what I've been told their is little "leveling" grind, as the game is riddled with very complex and interesting quests, some include going back into time (instanced) to modify history.

The game offers a few more interesting features, such as the Deadspell (the world between Shards) And the ability to join one of the High Houses, which can conquerer new shards located in the Deadspell.

My outlook on the game is uncertain, as I'm not sure just how much grind is in the game. I believe that every game requires a little grind, if not its hard to keep people playing for long periods of time. But I do find their skill system very impressive, and I can see alot of crazy tactics being developed for PvP or PvE, which will be quite exciting. The only thing holding me back from a complete rave preview is the delays its experienced, was supposed to be out some time ago, and open beta has been delayed a few times. But I have faith that they are working hard, and there is VERY good community support. Including an IRC room at #spellborn. I encourage everyone to give it a glance, its certainly not for everyone, but if you're looking for a variation in the genre, stay tuned for Open Beta (supposed to be soon!).




Gunblade said...

Who cares about open beta. How did you get into closed?!

RedFlame said...

I didnt heh. I've just been following for about a year now, so thats the data I've learnt from talking with the devs, the forums, and general reading. I'm cursed when getting into closed beta's it seems.

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