As I mentioned yesterday, I’ve been wandering through new MMO landscapes I’ve never seen before and revisiting old ones that I set aside for one reason or another. That started about a week ago and since then I’ve played about four new titles for at least an hour each. One of them I’ve already written about and the others I’m either not ready to write a full “first impressions” on or I’m not likely to because I didn’t play long enough and I’m unlikely to continue. Instead, I thought I’d write very briefly about each one in a quick, “gut reaction” style.
Path of Exile
I played Path of Exile for about an hour or two, trying three of the six classes, and ultimately decided it wasn’t for me; not at this time anyway. It looks like a well made game, very similar to Diablo and therein lies the problem. I’ve played Diablo before and PoE felt like more of the same. That said, if I’m ever in the mood for a gritty dungeon crawler I’m more likely to play this game than Diablo III. The vast skill tree, the way abilities are gained by slotting gems, and even the story were all worth exploring more. Inventory management was my only complaint; there aren’t nearly enough slots for all the gear that drops.
I’ve written an entire post on this one already, so I’ll be brief. Wakfu is a game I will continue to play because of the turn based combat system and the unique classes available. The community (from what I’ve seen so far) was a bit juvenile but so long as I can continue to play solo I will. Previously I had written about the additional content for purchase on Steam assuming it was actual DLC or expansions but I was wrong, it’s all packaged items like cash shop currency, boosts, and cosmetics so most of the game’s content is truly free. The world is colorful, the NPCs are whimsical and often ridiculous (in the best way) and the focus on turn based strategy is a welcome change of pace. It’s the kind of game I could log in to for quick, 30 minute sessions and that too is a plus.
I’ve put off playing TERA for a long time because of the overly sexualized character models, especially the women. I know this is common to a degree in many MMOs but TERA has always appeared to me as one of the worst. Nevertheless, I’ve been curious about the combat and the game world has always looked beautiful in screenshots so I finally downloaded the client and gave it a try. My first impressions are almost entirely positive. I was disappointed in the gender locked gunner and brawler classes as these were the two I was most interested in trying but I could not see myself playing as one of the available races. Instead I chose to play as a cat faced Popori Warrior which has probably provided me with more laughs than any other playable race.
The combat in TERA is solid but not any better than other action MMO titles I’ve experienced. All this talk about “real” action combat is nothing more than PR smoke. And as a Warrior at least I found that combat can feel choppy, in part because I cannot tell if Evasive Roll only works after a combat animation has completed or if it can be used to interrupt an offensive ability in order to avoid damage. This may be simply a learning curve issue though and not a criticism of the combat. And speaking of animations, the Popori are top notch. I spent a good five minutes trying to capture screenshots of my character riding a horse and leaping off a hill, his portly body and short legs flying off the saddle.
Obviously I’ve spent more time writing on this game than any of the others because of everything I’ve played so far this is one I’m likely to continue playing. I was pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed TERA and even the story peaked my interest. I’d like to try more of the classes to get a better feel for the combat and what’s available in terms of class roles and style. As with Wakfu, the additional content for purchase on Steam is mostly starter packs and cosmetics and not expansions or what I would consider DLC (zones classes, instanced group content, etc.) so I’m assuming all of the game is genuinely free.
I spent the shortest amount of time on Skyforge as I was quickly turned off by the horrible NPC characters that were introduced during the tutorial phase and the lifeless feeling even my own character’s model had. For a beautiful world with a unique mix of high tech landscapes and a Roman mythos I was expecting so much more with regard to story, and maybe it’s there but the characters designed to tell that story are like overcooked chicken, rubbery and tasteless. Maybe that changes over time but I won’t be sticking around long enough to find out. I can get better combat and access to more classes earlier if I go elsewhere. Perhaps the biggest thing working against Skyforge is that I played it immediately after trying TERA which is vastly superior on all accounts. At least I can check it off my list of MMOs to try.