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Reader Comments (3)

Posted: May 2nd 2008 8:34AM GRT said

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I played through the first 5 levels of the "open" beta last night. This is all single-player stuff.

So far I'm feeling pretty neutral about the game. It took a few tries to get running. First I had to update my video drivers, which admittedly hadn't been updated in a long time. Then I got a black screen. Playing in windowed mode fixed that for character creation, but when I entered the game proper I was back to a black screen. Turning off shadows fixed that. None of this is really significant given that its a beta; I share it only to give some idea of my frustration level when I finally started to play, which was a bit high since of course I had to forum surf to learn what to do.

Anyway once I got in game, I have to say the environments were quite lush and colorful without being Disney-esque. The game seemed to run well for me (Vista claims the game requires a 'performance score' of 4, and recommends 4.8, my system rates 5.4).

Combat was the biggest disappointment for me. Not that it was bad, but just that at low levels at least, it didn't live up to the hype. Sure there's no auto-combat, but so what? Unless you play MMOs by starting up autocombat and walking away, this didn't feel that much different. Most modern MMO games give you enough skills that you're always pushing buttons. So here you're forced to do what you'd probably be doing anyway. Loot was typical junk. Every pict you kill has 1 gold tooth, for example.

Hopefully combat will get richer with a few more levels. Again, it didn't seem bad, but Funcom has made such a fuss about the combat here being unique and different that I fear they've set out expectations too high.

Posted: May 2nd 2008 2:40PM Anatidae said

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I have to agree. After spending a few hours playing, I found myself thinking that this is a single player game with some other people standing around here and there.

My biggest problem with so many MMOs is that they don't really foster interaction. Oh, and I don't mean "forcing" by creating instances that require a group or force people into needing to drag along a healer, etc... What I mean is thinking of the interface, the world, the storyline, etc... and building it so that player-player interactions are easy and rewarding.

The more immersed these games get with their graphics, the less we want to watch a chat box filled with global channel spam. That is not immersion. If I wanted to read random text while I played a game I could join an IRC channel.

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Posted: May 5th 2008 12:06PM (Unverified) said

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I wasn't overly impressed with the game, but I think the major attributes of my enjoyment of the game relied heavily on the constant crashing.

This is the oddest open beta ever. You have to "pay" for it. There is a limit on number of players. They are using an outdated client.

From my understanding the old client was used because they wanted a stress test on the servers. Stress test? Limiting the playing field and getting constant crashes with an old build hardly constitutes a stress test.

Of the time I did play, I did get a chance to try out at least one of each base class types. I played Dark Templar, Assasin, Ranger, Bear Shaman, Tempest of Set and Herald of Xotli. Since first looking at the different classes, I was drawn to the bear shaman. Now after playing a few classes to the minimal level of 13 - I'm not so sure anymore. I really loved the Dark Templar and Ranger classes. Herald of Xotli only reached 5 before my client crashed last night and I decided to go to bed. So I can't really say much about that particular class yet.

I have a feeling leveling as a healing class is going to be quite difficult. Even as a healer with access to a lot of offensive spells and abilities, the bear shaman hasn't been what I have expected. This is the only class so far I have had a hard time getting through the volcano with. I could handle 1 vs 2 mobs half the time, but I quite often seemed to get a 3rd mob in the mix which made it impossible. If only I had a ranged pull...

I have already preordered and purchased a 3 month subscription. I'll give it a shot. The game definetly has potential to be a fun and amazing game. What toon I get to 80 first...I'm not so sure anymore


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