Continent of the Ninth Seal Review: Action Based MMORPG
By Mohammad Abubakr, OnRPG Journalist
Continent of the Ninth Seal or C9 for short is the latest MMO to be released by Webzen. C9 lets players play as the heroes of the Glenheim continent to fight against Nefer and hope to stop him from opening the gate of the other world to summon his followers. Monsters are beginning to come into the world because of the fracture in the gateway and players must help to prevent Nefer from destroying the seal protecting the gate.
Sporting my new cash shop set
The game plays like an action MMO similar to other action MMOs on the market such as Vindictus and Dragon Nest. The controls are very well done by being precise and allowing easy control of your character. Like other games, the dungeons for quests and grinding are all instanced. Everyone feels differently about instanced dungeons as they come with their own advantages and disadvantages. I personally do not like the idea of instanced dungeons in C9. While they do allow players to play without having to worry about areas being crowded, instanced dungeons and areas take away the feeling of working and playing with thousands of other people on the server.
You are still able to join instanced dungeons with a party but this feature limits the number of people you meet and encounter during your battles. It all depends on the player but I wish the dungeons were not instanced.
Apart from being instanced, these dungeons are not too bad. While they are generic and simple in design, they let the player experience fast-paced killing sprees that culminate in often challenging boss fights; they are fun, and that is what matters.
Wendigo Taskmaster is down!
The dungeons also feature an interesting invasion system which helps makes the majority of instanced content feel a bit more open. Players above level 25 can invade other players' instances and receive rewards if they are successful in killing the players. The privilege to invade must be enabled by the instance hosts and provides additional EXP bonuses, with risk comes reward.
In these dungeons a lot of time will be spent finishing quests by any of the four classes: fighter, hunter, shaman and witchblade. Being a player that prefers to take out enemies from afar, I personally like to play the hunter, but these four classes offer enough choice for all kinds of play styles. For information on all the classes feel free to check out Webzen's guide. http://c9.webzen.com/guides/characters/fighter
From my own personal experience, I have found the questing system to be nothing special. It is just like the average MMO and gives you simple quests such as clearing dungeons, talking to NPCs and killing specific enemies. There is even a built-in route guiding system which allows players to easily locate where they must go to complete the quests. I am normally against this system as it takes away from the immersion experience but I find it to be reasonable in C9 as the game is already instanced and this system helps to find your way around town.
The skills in the game are nicely designed and animated alongside a decent skilling system. It is much like other MMOs where skills have level requirements and require points to be trained but the interface to learn them is quite neat. This window is accessed by talking to your personal class trainer and features a very handy preview window. This feature is very simple but at the same time it is a nice addition which allows users to preview skills before training them either through video or NPC demonstrations. I feel like this feature should be present in all MMOs to allow players to know what they are training without having to actually try it out. If you do feel that you have trained your skills inefficiently, you can purchase a skill reset from the Cash Shop to start over.
Looking into my future skills
Talking about the cash shop, it has always been one of the main factors for deciding on which free to play MMO to play. I have asked around amongst my higher level friends about the state of the cash shop and have received positive responses. The items from the cash shop do give stats but my friends seem to think they are not imbalanced.
The feature that I love and look for in all MMOs is player versus player combat and C9 does not disappoint. Being an action based MMORPG, the PvP relies on player skill instead of simply determining the outcome of fights based on time invested into player gear.
There are many types of PvP matches available in the C9 arena including Ranked PvP, Relay Matches, Deathmatches, Team Match and PvP Training. All of these modes are won by players killing each other but I hope future updates will include PvP matches offering additional objectives alongside the typical player killing.
Running a high level dungeon
Ever since the beta of the foreign version of C9 I have seen screenshots of C9 in our massive screenshot thread over at our forums. I was always impressed by the graphics for a F2P MMO but was disappointed when I loaded up the game. It might have just been the smaller size of images in the screenshot thread but when the game is player full screen at 1920x1080 it does not amaze me.
Don't get me wrong, the graphics are nice for a F2P MMO but I was disappointed as I had expected much higher quality after seeing the screenshots. The graphics do not meet today's standards when it comes to games but are passable. In terms of character customization, though you’re locked into general templates for each class, you can do your fair share of adjustments and tweaks to make each character look entirely different from others of your same class.
The user interface is a very important feature in all games and Webzen has done a decent job incorporating their UI into the game. All required information is easily accessible and even new players are not overwhelmed by the designs as all icons are quickly distinguishable. Options to change size would be nice but are not necessary.
To conclude, I enjoyed my time playing Continent of the Ninth Seal and would definitely recommend this game to anyone looking for an action based MMORPG. At first I did not enjoy playing the game but after changing classes I came to love running dungeons. I could definitely see myself playing this game if I had more time on my hands. Be sure to check out C9!
Graphics - 5/5
Controls - 5/5
Features - 3/5
Customization - 4/5
Community - 4/5