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Reader Comments (31)

Posted: Mar 23rd 2010 12:32PM Lobotomist said

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I am certainly not run of the mill gamer. And have been following Spellborn for long time since it was announced.

Naturally i i jumped on it from the moment it became available freely.

So what is wrong with spellborn ?

Well it isnt its combat system, that is great. One of the best in MMOs or even action RPGs on PC.

It isnt its weird visuals. They are top notch and add a lot to the game.

So what is it ?

Well to put it simply. The game is boring. Under all the fancy visuals and combat system. Game lacks variety and it often reverts into purest and rawest of grinds. Perhaps game development was stretched thin and they didnt have resources to invest into quest flow, still ... It is obvious that team lacked the adhesive to glue all the great components.

But to say the truth, many bigger developers have fallen to this trap.

Making ultimately fun game is touch and go. You can have all great commponents but still they do not work together.

Just look at Mythics WAR

Posted: Mar 23rd 2010 12:48PM Darkkhorse said

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I disagree about the combat system... it was really horrible.... instead of a GCD the neat little bar spins! how retarded, just give a GCD and we would be happy... I didn't give this game much of a chance I have to admit. I watched the game for years prior to release and was disappointed it was a Europe only game at first so I forgot about it.... then I tried it once it came to the US market for free and was really disappointed by the clunky combat system that made very little sense to a new player. I really don't think a new player should die to the first mob they encounter.... I made the mistake of moving the buttons around and couldn't get them to work properly because they are meant to go in some sequence that it didn't explain in the tooltip.... so when I went to attack a mob... none of them would work properly and I died. Logged off and never went back.
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Posted: Mar 23rd 2010 12:57PM Thac0 said

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I agree the Art and the skill deck spinner were both genius, but i got bored too.
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Posted: Mar 23rd 2010 1:02PM Aganazer said

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darkkhorse, it sounds like the problem wasn't with the game, but rather your own unwillingness to learn how to play. How can you even say the combat was horrible when you never even learned how to operate the combat system? Also, you just said they were retarded for not making it exactly like WoW. If I were you I wouldn't be throwing stones when you live in a glass house if ya know what I'm saying. ;)
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Posted: Mar 24th 2010 4:37PM (Unverified) said

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I completely disagree with darkkhorse. The combat system was fantastic! The problem is that this fact is hidden for around 12 levels incredibly long levels. Immense travel times and poorly laid out quests are likely to bore players before they get to experience it.

I'm sure the devs tried to ease players into this complex system but what they actually did was create a slow, stunted and unsatisfactory introduction. I'm normally the first to say that the first 10 minutes of a game speaks volumes about it's entirety, but never has the best feature of a game been so poorly represented in the early levels.

The benefits of deck building and the rotating bar aren't obvious until you are given a space of 4 columns and 3 rows to play with (out of 6 by 6). Before then your choice of combat options is seriously limited and the ability bar really does look like an excuse for a cooldown. In fact the "cooldown" is likely there to allow you to move and dodge in between actions.

Add to this the fact that you don't even get to choose skills like combo openers and have to stack your deck with uninteresting "weak attack" abilities and you've got some fairly poor combat. By level 12 my Adept was throwing status effect bombs, storming in with his AoE sword attacks then backflipping (literally) to safe distance to headshot and throw another bomb. Stunning stuff!
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Posted: Mar 23rd 2010 3:38PM (Unverified) said

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I just returned to this game a few weeks ago, and I still find it a good game, although a bit less than perfect from the gfx perspective.
Still, I think this game had (or still has) a great potential.

Posted: Mar 23rd 2010 12:50PM Beau Hindman said

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What did you think of the lore and story? Did you enjoy reading it or was it kind of blah for you? I personally love it and that keeps me around, but I can see how it could become kind of tiresome.

Beau

Posted: Mar 23rd 2010 12:43PM TheJackman said

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"So we suffered the WoW Scan; people came in compared it to the last MMO they played, deduced it was 'different' from that and left."

Wonder how many games had this happen too them.....

Posted: Mar 23rd 2010 12:52PM Aganazer said

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I really enjoyed this game for the month that I played it. It was very immersive. The quest writing was awesome. I have never been so interested in the lore of a game world. The graphics and overall atmosphere was so unlike anything I had seen before that I really wanted to spend more time in the game world.

I really liked how it didn't hold your hand with quest markers. At the same time it wasn't hard to find out where to go since you just had to find the key words in the quest text.

But there were plenty of problems. Travel time could be a chore since there was no fast travel. There weren't enough things to do, it was just a quest grind. The crafting was so rudimentary that I am baffled about what the developers were thinking when they designed it. My wife, who is not a native english speaker, never read the quest text and was bored to tears. I remember her yawning all night long when we would play.

The worst problem was one that effected new potential players. The introduction to the game was incredibly boring. Not only do you not have any of the awesome interesting skills and attacks, but they make you fight the most boring MOB's of the game, bears and wolves. The real coup de grĂ¢ce was that you start at PeP 0, meaning that you run extra slow, do horrible damage, and your skills recharge slower. It gave the (incorrect) impression of a ponderous slow boring game. Its too bad because the game was fantastic in so many ways.

Posted: Mar 23rd 2010 1:10PM Skeanthu said

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Well maybe then they could hook up with the Darkfall and give that game the visual spice it needs.

Posted: Mar 23rd 2010 1:10PM (Unverified) said

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The combat system was first class. TCOS is a great game, probably with little money to develop better. That's all.

Posted: Apr 16th 2010 7:17PM (Unverified) said

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I played Spellborn from the moment Acclaim opened their two servers until they announced they were restructuring the game to make it free to play. The game had fantastic art direction and the combat system was a lot of fun for me. PeP was a great way to reward players who didn't die, and the loss of PeP was enough of a hit to make players feel the impact of death. Choosing your house was a great idea but ultimately ended up determining who you could and could not kill. The players house should have meant so much more. Maybe thats the theme for Spellborn, the game that could have been so much more.

Posted: Mar 23rd 2010 2:34PM Seffrid said

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Struggling to find one mob to kill every 10 or 15 minutes in the very first area was what killed it for me, especially as there seemed to be a pretty good chance that the mob would kill me unless I was grouped! That brought a whole new meaning to "grind" and not one I was willing to go along with!

Or perhaps it was the team's failure to respond immediately to what was patently a serious problem with the spawn rate of level 1 mobs that did it for me.

Either way, it struck me as a palpably amateurish game and whilst I'd followed it with interest I was profoundly disappointed with it.

Posted: Mar 23rd 2010 5:11PM Darkkhorse said

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Aganazer - I have been playing these types of games since MUD's and have played nearly everything until the last few years ( too many to play them all ). Yes, I admitted I didn't give it much of a chance, however you missed my point. If you cannot simply fight mobs when you start the game, that is a severe flaw that perhaps others have encountered?

The question was posed, why hasn't this game gone anywhere. I really think their combat system has to be looked at and not glazed over as others have suggested. I also think blaming the user for the game not being like WOW is an absurd argument and shows a lack of trust and almost is insulting to the gamers trying out the game.

Wow was never even brought up by myself, and frankly, I am getting annoyed and tired of people who just started playing MMO's accusing people of being a Wow fanatic just because they didn't like a game. I never said the combat was retarded because it wasn't like WOW.... Global Cool Downs have been around a lot longer than WOW, and you show your own ignorance and inexperience by accusing me of thinking that. Essentially the little bar is a GCD, just a fancy way of doing it.... it wasn't for me. I use all of my keys when playing and limited my ability to choose an attack is just not a good design. I think MMO's need to take things to a higher level and challenge the player to choose their actions rather than dictating what we can choose from. It seems to be getting worse with systems like this. Designers need to allow for more choice, not less.

Posted: Mar 23rd 2010 3:27PM nomoredroids said

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I agree with you, that designers need to allow more choice, not less.

You never got to the interesting parts, though, when you were afforded a lot more choice. It is a very deep combat system that relies heavily on the player choosing what goes where. Instead of requiring you to just pick up every skill, you're better off with a selection that flows together nicely with the skill bar's rotation.

The problem is not with the combat, the problem is that you never gave the combat a chance. Sure, mobs are difficult at first, but you get used to the system, you get used to the skill bar, and you end up having fun. Eventually.
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Posted: Mar 23rd 2010 4:02PM Aganazer said

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I think you missed the point of the combat wheel. You never got to experience openers, finishers, deck building, and all the skill interactions available, yet you are willing to call it a bad design. Sorry man, you're simply not in a position to judge. You can say it made a bad impression, that it is hard to learn, but anything else would be said in ignorance.

You did the Spellborn equivalent of playing WoW and using only auto-attack, then quitting when you die and blaming the game for your failure.
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Posted: Mar 25th 2010 5:13AM (Unverified) said

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Darkhorse, you are sure narrowminded... The point of the combat wheel was not to invent new kind of GCD, but to make people plan what ability will they use and when. I would go as far as to call you WoW fanboi to be honest, because you were not able to see the real purpose of the combat wheel, but went on babbling about GCD.

I personally think combat wheel could be done bit better, but I liked that mechanic alot. It made me plan my combat in before hand, plan where I want this skill to make the most use of it at right time.

As other said, you probably never got to experience opening and finishing moves, so don't blame a game mechanic because you don't understand it.
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Posted: Mar 23rd 2010 3:28PM Dumac said

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What i believe killed it was the publishing disaster... Three different publishers, Europe split in 3 regions, American release delayed for unclear reasons, no marketing or promotion beyond word of mouth... Even back in 2008 when Acclaim didn't so much as have a beta going even though the game was live in (parts of) Europe, people knew it was eventually going to become free to play.

I remember trying it out when the American beta went live (or was it the free to play 'trial' thingy, i cant remember), i liked the starting area but once i got to the city i realized my old PC didn't have what it takes to properly run the game, it was back to Guild Wars for me. By the time i got a better PC i lost interest. Maybe i should try it again? Hmm.

Posted: Mar 23rd 2010 3:49PM (Unverified) said

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"Most players simply didn't expect the game as it was. So we suffered the WoW Scan; people came in compared it to the last MMO they played, deduced it was 'different' from that and left."

I liked TCoS as much as the next guy, but this quote just bugs me because it just finger pointing.

Developers and fans need to stop using "WoW players" as a get out of jail free card for poor polish, buggy games, and bad mechanics. TCoS did not have the gameplay nor polish expected of P2P games in this generation. It was a great game, mind you, but it should come as no surprise it didn't work with the P2P model.

Posted: Mar 23rd 2010 6:07PM Graill440 said

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The combat didnt turn the folks off, the following did.

Lack of quests.
Lack of quests that worked. (huge one)
Lack of many types of crafting materials (some materials were left out of the game entirely.)
Lack of high level content. (standard for any mmo)
Travel costs and time
Some really ignorant farm me thousands of this for a quest, quests.
Raid content broken in many areas. (note the term, may)

These are all things that were dev responsibilities, they killed their own game.

My character is still parked next to a broken quest npc and will stay there until they delete the game or get it running.

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