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Archive for the ‘Forsaken World’ Category

If you want the skinny in a few words, I can sum it up thus: I’ve certainly played worse WoW clones.

Early travels in the Human homeland

However, I’m not sure it’s that simple. I think Forsaken World is getting a bit of a bad rep — somewhat fairly-earned — in part due to the abundance of screenshots of well-endowed and scantily-clad Kindred Assassins that every reviewer seems to have rolled (truth be told, it’s only members of the Kindred race that can be Assassins [Edit: Whoops, I completely forgot that Humans can be Assassins, too], but the females of that race have the most alarming proportions and lack of modesty in the game).

The other reason for the poor reputation has to do with PWE’s discarding of the conventional F2P wisdom that “Closed Beta” means “anyone who has a key gets in” and actually seems to be restricting access by Beta phase, as well as their poor communication of that fact well in advance. This has led to a lot of confusion and hard feelings from fans who obtained beta keys but were not let into this Phase 1 of the Closed Beta.

Due to a generous giveaway by Massively, I am one of those in this phase of testing, and I have been playing multiple characters for hours. While I have been trying to submit bug reports like a good beta tester (see the overlooked Chinese characters and typo in the screenshot), I can’t say that my playtime has been through sheer determination – I’m actually having fun! Much like with Allods Online, I know I won’t be staying with this title due to the emphasis on PvP (after level 30, PvP or Player-Killing will be open-world and that’s just Not My Thing), it’s not stopped me from enjoying the content in the meantime.

Minor glitches aside, Forsaken World plays smoothly and the aesthetic is much more Western than previous PWE titles. Having explored a few different races’ starting areas, I have already experienced a couple of unique quests that I haven’t experienced many places elsewhere, if at all. The usual PWE conveniences are there, such as auto-pathing and pets, as well as other F2P staples such as level-gated gift packages. Character customization is less than PWI and more than JD, and felt much like it would if you could only use Aion’s default customizations with no feature sliders – that is to say, a fair amount of customization is possible, though no varying size options are available. No boob size customization, unfortunately.

I am still hovering around level 20 and the game is telling me I should start running dungeons (in-game chat is lively with LFG requests at this stage), but not having done this thing much in traditional MMOs (the closest I’ve come is the Barrow-Downs in LOTRO, and that was a crash-course in Healing With An Aggro System if ever there were one), I am leery of the abuse I would face from strangers if I failed in my Priestly duties. So far there is still plenty I can do on my own – the game is not hurting for quests, and not the sorry excuses for quests that PWI offered, with “kill 50″ requests rounding up post-level 20 content – so I shall continue on until, as usually happens when I play a traditional MMO, I get tired of never-ending questing and give Forsaken World a rest.

Or maybe I’ll try running a dungeon then.

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Fly Me to the Moon

There are two upcoming MMOs that have only recently started to make waves, with websites and forums going live within the past week. They could not be more different from one another in approach: one will be a boxed product with a subscription fee attached, set in a post-apocalyptic world with heavily skill-based character development, and is being developed by a small indie group. The other is being developed by a prominent Asian free-to-play distributor, in a familiar theme-park format with classes, magic, dungeons and pets.

What both of these games have in common is that they appear to be promising the moon among their respective features; if they manage to deliver on their promises, both may just succeed in making a big splash within their genres of choice.

Xsyon (forecasted release date: April 2010)

Among Xsyon’s touted features are in-game seasons, character aging, the ability to create or destroy all items in the game, migratory animals and creatures with no respawn, body part targeting in combat, player tribes, player housing, and the list goes on and on. I don’t even like sandbox games or post-apocalyptic settings, and I am still salivating to see how this game pans out. Currently the only way to get a peek of the game in action will be to pre-order the box, something a lot of gamers are predictably leery of. I hope enough people give it a shot to see what’s out there; even though Xsyon might sound too good to be true, I am an optimist and I always cross my fingers for small indie developers to buck the trend and make their dream come true – even the outlandish ones that everyone tells them aren’t possible. I am definitely keeping my eye on this one and have recommended it to my Fallout 3-loving better half should it hit the stores as planned in April.

Forsaken World (forecasted release date: 2010)

Forsaken World comes to us from Perfect World Entertainment, who also produced Perfect World, Jade Dynasty, and Ether Saga, and who are distributing Torchlight. They certainly seem determined to bring high production values and something different to this game, based on the feature list which contains such goodies as greatly enhanced monster AI, sub-professions that complement and enhance gameplay from increased XP to better bargains with the merchants, non-combat dungeons, persistent world effects caused by bosses, moving guild capture points, astrology, and many other items, all of which sound too good to be true (I will believe in smart monster AI when I see it). PWE has been working on this for around two years and have made it an international project. I’ve heard this “game will appeal to both Eastern and Western audiences” speech before (hello Aion), but again, I like to see companies try new things, and perhaps PWE can even take the lessons learned from Aion and make something really cool happen with Forsaken World.

Perhaps these games are little more than pipe dreams, but I just don’t have it in me to be too cynical about gaming.  Games make me happy, and I like being happy, so I will always look on the bright side and give these developers the benefit of the doubt.

I’m holding my breath, Notorious Games and Perfect World Entertainment!

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