Chronicles of Spellborn: Another generic fantasy MMO?

I’ve just seen the name mentioned, and know some forum members were anxiously awaiting it. I have, as usual, no hope for this one, but a free trial right from the start means they believe in their product, right?
Sign up here for a 2-week trial. 3GB download!

It looks like they shove you onto account pages depending on where you are in the world, so dig up the US link if you’re elsewhere and want to play there, or the other way around. I’m just going to try the European trial until I’m bored.

I’m not buying into their crazy spacebucks scheme, but they also take regular credit cards, in the event of an actual playable game.

I played it back at the ‘european’ launch and it’s a nice game. The combat system is excellent, very elegently streamlined to allow for faster, skillful free-aiming and dodging. Everybody should try it out (and make sure you’re doing it properly: select skills with number keys, use them with leftmouse). It’s a little confusing in that it allows you to also click skills which won’t get you anywhere.

Ultimately though the splitting of the UK from ‘europe’ and flogging it off to ‘acclaim’ totally put me off since 99% of the people I play MMOs with are from mainland europe and Scandinavia. It’s also heavily quest-based which is a big turn off.

Art-style and atmosphere is top-notch.

I thought being heavily quest-based was seen as a positive by most MMOers. LOTRO is heavily quest based, and I like that about it. Feels less grindy.

WTF is this pricing option about?

The Chronicles of Spellborn is a “Freemium” game that is completely free to download and play within the Free to Play zone, limited to Hawksmouth and Aldenvault. Upon reaching the gameplay limit at Fame level 7 (no time restrictions), all character progression is blocked and players will be:
Unable to gain Fame in any way or form, frozen at a fixed amount.

Able to accept quests, but not able to complete any objectives/quests.

  Able to kill mobs, but they will receive no kill credit. This means no fame reward, 
      no pep reward, and no item reward.

So you can play to level 7, in only 2 zones. Once you hit 7 you cannot complete a quest, kill a mob or get XP??? In order to do so you purchase an “acclaim action coin” for £10 which lets you kills mobs and access other zones…

Isn’t this just the fucking same as a £10 a month sub fee? Just made rediculously more confusing by talking about acclaim anal action coins or what-ever-the-fuck-they-are? Just reading their website about how to subscribe put me off even bothering to download this client.

Its different than normal so its a bit confusing. But its inherently just a free trial period, except instead of a time based trial they limit the areas you can explore and the level you can reach.

I actually think thats better than a time trial since I may want to try it but be unwilling to spend enough time in 3 days to really get a feel for it (or something may come up during those 3 days that keeps me from playing).

To most people maybe. To me doing hundreds of little ‘quests’ as the main activity feels incredibly grindy and I hated lotro because of the grind.

I linked this in the original post ;)

Yeah, it’s just a regular subscription, with a trial already at launch. Sort of like EQ2 added, and WoW copied.

The other type of grind is endless killing for the sake of killing, and that is a turnoff for me. The third type of grind is no grind, and it gives me tingly feelings. I just haven’t seen it implemented well yet - EVE’s time-based skill training was a nice step, though.

The other other type of grind is the one where you set a goal for yourself and set about achieving it. Running instances for loot in WoW, making enough money to buy better ships in EVE, getting a flax gin running in ATITD…

It beats standing there killing the same mobs over and over again all cold, that’s for sure, which is what most pre-WoW MMOs offer and most Korean MMOs as well.

What’s the alternative?

I’m not saying that it’s impossible to have anything better than quest chains (in PvE), but what would that be? I’ve sure never encountered any such game.

(And I strongly suspect that whoever does answer that question will have come up with that much vaunted WoW-killer.)

Not supposed to be very good. If you’re hankering for a generic fantasy MMO, check out runes of magic. Supposed to be the best of the rest.

And what LotRO offers, for their stupid achievement-like things.

I rarely grind for deeds (aka “achievement-like things”). I’d say that 75% of them “just happen” as I’m doing stuff.

Yeah, that’s true for a while, but then you get to things like the one that requires you kill 360 snow beasts in the Misty Mountains or 480 trolls in Angmar. That ain’t happening without some grinding.

I’d say that 75%

Math is hard.

the answer is obvious, it is just too massive an undertaking to pull off practically.

You’d need an intricately thought out fictional world with no flimsy backstories. Something on the level of Tolkien’s Silmarillion.

The randomness inherent in open world games has undesirable limits, you are free to do as you wish but you must adhere to generic “variables” that determine your gaming experience and how you progress. There are your stats and there are the quest templates. You end up improving your stats by going through variations of basically a limited set of quest templates ultimately leading to what is known as grinding.
Do away with the variables and instead include a series of well thought out scenarios that will not always depend on the player’s stats. In addition to skill based encounters other scenarios might involve puzzle solving, dialogue (riddle?) encounters with key characters, or even something resembling The Path.
That will keep the player from anticipating what comes next.

Maintain a persistent world. If an area is destroyed by a great war, it should stay that way. The game can have a literature/lore system where end-game events are recorded for recent players to read about, or used as effective tools to overcome new challenges.
The game design should take into account the effects of end-game events and include continuity. As in the case of Tolkien’s novels, Sauron went from being a demon’s Lieutenant to a just king over men to a captured prisoner to a religious leader and ultimately a spirit with no physical form. Each phase was an epic in itself.

Lots of variety, challenges that require a mix of skill and lateral thinking, a persistent intricate world, a story weaved by a creative genius with no cheap cliffhangers, and you will have a WoW killer.

Not a complicated concept but not easy to pull off either.

I also think that one of the fundamental problems with MMOs is the concept of leveling. It’s a very natural mechanic in a game that has a discreet beginning and ending, but it is fundamentally at odds with the very concept of a game that is persistent and open-ended.

The funny thing is that every successful MMO has eventually effectively abandoned levels–you hit the level cap, and enter the “end game”, where progression is defined in some non-level fashion.