Hello world. Now, I’m not trying to teach you basic ‘Hello world’ program, but I’m too tired to think of a quirky intro so … well, there you go.
I got a chance to take a look at the closed beta of the upcoming isometric online action RPG called ‘Devilian Online’. It has been one of my most anticipated MMO releases this year and, if you’re looking for a tl;dr, here it is: I’m greatly disappointed. Not to say it’s a bad game, it’s just that it is so … painfully generic and average. Now, for tl;ir (too long; I read? Can we kickstart it? Didn’t think so):
Devilian Online is a Korean MMORPG published here in west by Trion. That sentence alone raises a multitude of questions here in west, but I’ll get to them. I quickly want to address some of the most glaring issues of the game before I go in-depth: English voice acting is literally THE WORST I’ve heard in over a decade. And I mean in everything. It’s godawful. It’s beyond stupid, dull and … fucking STUPID. Holy crap how the hell did those voices get through the approval is beyond me. From the very first English line that is uttered in this game, you can foresee the future … and the future is dark my friends. In my 5-6 hours gameplay, I haven’t found a single performance that stands out. None. It feels as if the English publishers themselves gathered family and friends and had fun with the project. Scrap this shit: ASAP! Second glaring issue is movement. It’s way too clunky for the year of its release. If you look at the stuff like Torchlight, Path of Exile, Diablo etc., you can see how smooth movement is easily done. Here, nope. Unless you’re using autopathing (oh yeah, just wait for it), or riding a mount, movement feels so out of place. And this is regardless of whether you use WASD or mouse to move your character. Third one is character customization. I mean, I’m not asking for much. Really. But what the fuck was that? 5-6 generic faces, hairstyles and a color of my eye? This is 2015 people. Get on with the fucking times. And fourth one, and probably the most major one, is auto-pathing. Okay developers, here’s a hint: remove this. Not only is auto-pathfinder absolutely terrible in finding the path, but it serves no point since this isn’t MASSIVE world. You’ll travel from one quest hub to another maybe once an hour and even that isn’t long. The moment I saw that this game has auto-pathing, it dawned on me that this game literally has no exploration. Go on, take a guess on whether I was right.
Aside from those three issues, there are plethora of others just ogling their ugly heads at every conceivable corner. Action. Action. Action. That’s the market of this game; it doesn’t sell a deep story (holy crap the story is bad, even by MMORPG standards), or interesting characters (haha), it sells you combat. And combat is … sigh, it’s just so generic. First off, game has 4 classes – and to the game’s credit, classes are unique enough that, at least in that sense, there’d be a reason to go through the game again but the classes themselves are just … uninspiring. You have your standard melee fighter, standard mage, standard range, and standard mid-level fighter/caster type of a deal. Each class plays out exactly as you expect it to and, while special effects of some abilities really are amazing to look at, and even impact of them is somewhat cool, when it all comes together you just realized you’ve already seen all this shit. The ability tree has this “branching upgrade stuff type of a thing” which is just generic “Oh, your Whirlwind stuff now has 1% chance to crit” etc, etc. It doesn’t give you any customization of your abilities if that’s what you expected. And that’s the thing about the entire game. It’s just so … cookie-cutter. Another part that was kind of a selling point, and the thing the game is named after, is this ‘supermode’ of sorts where you grow a bit bigger, get more HP and new abilities. Uhm … it’s nothing special guys. Like, no, really, it’s just another form of what’ll become (most-likely) endless grind towards the endgame since your ‘Supermode’ level is unique and has no ties to your character level. And man, talk about grind. Do you know what sets up the game to become the major grind the further you go into it? Well, here’s your answer: everything is piss easy. No, seriously. At the moment I’m at level 22, and I died 0 times. Hell, I never even came close to dying. I 1 shot every small monster, and when it comes to mini bosses and bosses, I just stand still and spam my abilities. This here is a clear indicator that the draw of the game will be the grind. And I’d be completely fine with that if the grind was satisfying, but here it just doesn’t look like it would because combat alone actually can’t hold this game together.
On another side we have PvP. Now, PvP is limited solely to your Supermode, and so far I’ve done a few ‘Arena’ battles which is kind of a capture-the-point 10v10 type of a deal. And it was kind of fun, but I also feel like it’ll be something like Tera when it comes to PvP: unless you have the best PvP gear possible, you won’t be able to be competitive in the endgame. Also, Supermode doesn’t have dodge ability. What the hell is up with that? Why? What’s the point of removing the dodge ability? So many times I’ve caught myself spamming Space (default key for dodge) only to realize: nop, I’m just gonna stand still here and die. PvP doesn’t seem to be individually skill based. It’s more of a “who has more people they win” type of a thing. If you’re 1v2, you’ll probably gonna die if the opponent knows how to press 5 buttons and aim at you. So the best tactic really is to just find a group and roll with it.
Now, I quickly want to mention some of the deep problems that could potentially break the game after the release (well, you know …): which is Trion’s cash shop. After the Archage, many people have given up on the company and labeled it ‘Full-on-P2W-publisher’, but I want to give them a benefit of the doubt. Perhaps they’ve fixed their ways. I mean … kind of? I guess? At the moment, there’s this dungeon-stamina system where it basically says ‘Oh, you ran 10 dungeons today? Sucks to be you! No more! Oh, but wait! You can buy more stamina from our cash shop for only 4.99$! Order today and get your ass fucked for free!’. I did some research on this and they said that they’ll remove this from the game, and I sure as hell hope so because this system is literally mobile-game-bullshit that should have no place in any game, let alone MMORPG. If they don’t remove it, this game won’t last even 6 months before it literally has 10 people who are too high to realize what they’re playing anyway.
Second thing is Talismans. Now, this is kind of a glyph type of a thing from WoW, or enchantments if you’ve played Tera, but also a bit different. Basically, you open these Talisman boxes and they drop a random piece which buffs something about your character (Defense, HP, crit, attack etc., you get the point), and you can level up each individual Talisman by combining it with some other. Problem? You can buy Talisman Boxes in the cash shop. Now, granted, you can craft them as well by basically disenchanting 5 pieces of gear, but since the drop from the Box is random, who knows how long it’ll take you to find one perfect for your class and then level it up to a max level. Not only that, but you have to do it 4 times since there are 4 slots. This isn’t classic ‘P2W’, but rather the newer way of doing it and masking it by ‘well, everyone can get them, therefore it’s not P2W’. I’ll be on a lookout for that.
I haven’t really looked through the shop that much, but there are some really … iffy stuff in there, so Trion better whip up their ass and fix that shit ASAP. Aside from that, it looks to be cosmetic/pet/mount stuff you get with every F2P game nowadays and that’s fine.
Next up is dungeons … meh. I mean, dungeons are linear, they are boring and, to top it off, they are, so far, piss easy. I did hear that they kind of get harder later down the line, but not by a large margin. Basically, you just kind of have to use your dodge button once in awhile. They’re generic looking, really, and bosses, so far, were just … meh. Meh atop of meh.
I forgot to mention (and since I’m too lazy to scroll back and add it to the appropriate category), but each class has 3 of these ‘subclasses’, which offers more customization to your character. It’s basically like Talents from WoW, only not as deep (even as Talents are now). My class, the melee dude, basically has this: guy with quick jabs and some aoe, guy with lots of aoe and some CC, and the mixture of 2 with some defensive spells thrown into the mix. Regardless of which one you choose, they all play out pretty much the same (there are 2 spells in 2 different trees that are literally the same aside from one having fire special effect and the other one doesn’t).
I honestly wanted to like this game. Especially now that I’m on a break from Tera while I wait for the next set of content, and am in dire need of new MMO to sink my time into. I went into the game with open mind and I actually kind of liked it at first since leveling was like BUM YOU’RE LEVEL 7 NOW AFTER 10 MINUTES I BET YOU FEEL LIKE A BADASS. And, true enough, the game has that feel of the isometric ARPGs to make you feel like a badass, but pretty much all ARPGs have that. However, unlike other ARGPs the loot is … meh. In 6 hours so far, I’ve used 4 different weapons. Let that sink in. The loot is scarce, so far it’s generic looking, much like everything else in the game.
I’ll probably keep playing the game, but it won’t be a massive time-sink for me. I mean, the game doesn’t bore me to death like some other recent MMORPGs, but it doesn’t make me want to spam it 6 hours a day either. I’ve played way too many MMORGPs, and WAY TOO MANY isometric ARPGs to be satisfied with something like this for a long period of time. So, we’re still waiting or Lineage Eternal and Lost Ark. Hurry up boys. Your papa needs you bad. Very, very bad.
Thank you guys for reading, and if you’re interested in knowing more about Devilian Online, feel free to leave a comment below and I’ll respond as quickly as possible. If you’re playing the game already and want to do some quest/dungeons/pvp together, hit me up with your nickname in the comments and I’ll add you in the game (EU servers). Until next post, please recommend me some good MMORPG to play that isn’t as generic as my poop.