Don't Forsake Forsaken World

Date:2011-09-07lile  Text Size:

With Perfect World's recent acquisition of Cryptic Studios, makers of Star Trek Online and Champions Online, I wanted to familiarize myself with the type of games that Perfect World puts out to see what I might expect to be implemented into Star Trek Online, if anything.

My first impression of Forsaken World was that the font and coloring of the logo was very similar to another rather large and mainstream MMO. However, the similarities ended there. Character creation allowed me to create very eastern themed archetypes; slender, but muscularly toned men with big hair and large-breasted women with as little functional armor as possible. You'll also notice as you start up the game that some elements appear to be lost in translation.

For example, there is a Kindred race that is essentially Vampires, but there is also a class, called Vampire. This Vampire class is equipped with a large crucifix that Vampires carry on their backs and apparently walking in sunlight is ok. I also don't need to drink blood and can eat food items just fine. In a world where movies, TV shows and books are tossing out Bram Stoker and Anne Rice's Vampire lore and replacing it with the likes of Twilight and Being Human, I suppose this new type of friendly neighborhood emo-day-walker vampirism is to be expected.

This goofiness aside I started up my Kindred, Vampire and headed off to save the world. While you can use WSAD to move around, I found it more functional to simply use the mouse to move and look around similar to Guild Wars.

The character sheet in the game is typical of any fantasy themed MMO. A feature I enjoyed is that Forsaken World allows players to equip items to use as a costume, so while you may be wearing the same level and type of gear as someone else, you won't necessarily look the same given that you can customize your characters clothing look. The function works similar to the costuming done in other MMO's such as LOTRO and Rift. Of course if you're a female character, chances are you're cleavage and panties will always be showing.


As you progress through the game you'll have the ability to learn about lore through books that are found or given to you by NPCs. These books fortunately add themselves to your notes pages, so you don't have to worry about them using up your bag space. They are interesting reads for those interested in emerging themselves into the game or role playing their characters.


One thing I really liked in Forsaken World is the use of an Auto Path for Quests. To clarify, when you accept a quest, important NPC names will be highlighted. When you click on them you're character will begin to auto run to the person or place mentioned. This is a feature other games would do well to incorporate into their own quest journals.

 MMO veterans will find the first twenty levels of game play exceptionally easy as creatures will not attack you and the strength of your character is very high compared to what you're fighting. This makes it so that players who may have never touched an MMO are eased into the progression. That said, once you begin the adventures in the mid twenties you'll start to find yourself needing to rely on your classes tactics as well as potions to get through boss fights.

This is also where you'll start to notice that leveling slows down, though if you opt to purchase experience boosters, find yourself playing on an experience boost weekend, or use any of the experience awards found in-game you can advance very quickly within a short period of time.

The game really begins to open up after about level forty, especially if you're into pets. While every class can acquire pets to help them in combat, at level forty the Tamer job can be unlocked that will allow you to capture the souls of monsters to use in your pet skilling. What you can do with pets to train them, combine their souls into one, or transfer abilities from one to another eventually become a mini-game within Forsaken World.

While I'm typically not a fan of anime-ish themed games, I have to admit I've been very pleasantly surprised with how this free-to-play MMO doesn't blatantly throw “BUY THIS NOW” features all over the UI like many other games do. The game also provides a very interesting balance and ramp up of difficulty and skill as you progress.

For those looking for a PVP challenge the PVP servers allow for the looting of gold and gear from other players upon their death, so fans of games like Lineage may enjoy that. As much as I am a fan of PVP, I'm not a fan of player looting when it comes to taking the gear off their corpse. Fortunately they offer PVE servers for those like me who just want to log on, slay some werewolves with my wolf and ride my ram around town before I feed my sheep.

So what does this mean for Star Trek Online? Not much honestly. Perfect World is a publisher of some pretty solidly polished games, and while many of their produced titles are similar to Forsaken World, their previous acquisition of Runic Games shows that while they have the funds to do what they want, they don't seem to step on the developer's toes when it comes to game design; good news for fans of Cryptic Studios. If anything can be said, it really means that Cryptic Studios will now have the opportunity and funds to improve their existing games and make new games even better. Of course this doesn't change my opinion that sometime within the next year Star Trek Online will more than likely be going free-to-play.


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