Early Access: Eden Eternal Pre-CB Series Part 1
By Darren Henderson (DizzyPW), OnRPG Editor-in-Chief
Howdy OnRPG readers! As was mentioned on our new OnRPG Blog, yesterday I was invited to Aeria Game's HQ in Santa Clara, California along with only 3 other website managers to get an exclusive sneak peak of Eden Eternal.
A little intro on this game. Eden Eternal is the third game produced by upcoming superstar developing studio, X-Legend, with their previous two titles being Grand Fantasia and Kitsu Saga. X-Legend is working unusually closely with Aeria Games to ensure that Eden Eternal is localized with the highest standards and a successful launch. Now if you are familiar with either of these games, you will feel right at home with the art style and direction Eden Eternal is set with. However don't be fooled (as I was prior to this preview) that this game is another cute pet fighter game like Kitsu Saga, Eden Eternal is built with the next generation gamer in mind and delivers its promises.
At the opening of closed beta, players will be only given access to the first of what seemed to be 4 continents and a rather large Australia-like 5th island present on the world map. Associate Producer Jeff assured me that these outside realms were not just map fluff but were actual locations of future content being prepared for post launch, with the first expansion estimated within a month of open beta's start!
Skeptical MMO Connoisseur, Heed my Call
Before I begin my introduction of the game's many unique and well developed features, I wanted to express my concern to the hardcore mmo players out there. This game's trailers thus far have focused on the artwork and skill animations and completely left out the true meat and potatoes hidden within this game!
Beyond its cute anime graphics lies an intense engine with breath taking special effects, diverse monsters that kept even a veteran like me guessing, and a character and guild customization system that I have only dreamed possible until this day. Do not make the mistake of writing this off as some 3D Maplestory clone. This game packs as many features as recent releases like Forsaken World and implements them in a bug free environment so seamless, it seems unreal to be in an alpha localization stage (Taiwan pre-release of Eden Eternal did wonders for it).
The Beginning: Character Customization and Classes
Now that my disclaimers are over and I have got your attention, it's time to get down to the first of many features that separates Eden Eternal from the rest. You begin the game within the character creator. Here you are given the choice of sex with the option to customize your face, hair style, hair color, skin color, and eye color. Both male and female have 5 beginning faces, 11 hair styles, 15 hair colors, and 15 (wow!) eye colors. Although unconfirmed I would bet money that there will be even greater options in these categories within the cash shop upon the game's release. They would not have put so much attention to detail into this game without a plan to market their character design after all.
After the cosmetics are set, you can take a quick look at how your character might appear end-game. They have a preview for all 15 currently available classes here as well as 10 emotes and zoom/rotation options to give you a full idea of what you are going to look like before locking in. It is worth noting that there was an option for race but only human is currently available, and 4 slots remain hidden as question marks. Based on the back story and npcs ingame it is quite clear that after release you will eventually be able to create micemen, bearmen, frogmen, and even turtlemen (TMNT fans rejoice at the fact you will eventually be able to make a ninja turtle in this game).
The TMNTs are getting on about 30 years old now. And they show their age.
The next step is choosing your starter class. There are 5 standard MMO archetypes available to you eventually, however at the beginning you are locked into mage or warrior. You can then select one of 10 "Heroic Traits" which will define you as unique among other players. These traits vary from increased hp and mp, to increased luck and crit rate and are all based on a % increase of your total stat, meaning that these traits will define your character from start to finish of the game. While some traits are clearly focused on aiding specific classes' skill sets, others are more general and may provide a leader some general survivability in combat so they can better focus on commanding their allies.
Oh did I say you were locked into mage or warrior? Silly me, that isn't entirely true. You can change your character's class at any time in this game as long as you are out of combat. As a tank were you the sole survivor of a dungeon party wipe? Psh no problem, just roll cleric and revive your allies. Are you a bit too powerful for a dungeon and need to speed things up? Make a team of DPS characters and then reroll a tank for the final boss!
Eden Eternal Keeps it Classy
I know one of the first characteristics of a game I tend to judge is how unique and diverse the classes are ingame. After 10+ years of games following the WoW and Everquest standards set in ye olde age, it is refreshing to see some new faces on the block this year. Eden Eternal breaks the standard mold of classes by offering a huge number of them. Combine this with the ability to change and level each class's skills individually on one character and your possibilities become near endless.
Though you only start with mage and warrior, you will eventually unlock the other classes by fulfilling specific requirements. For example, the Rouge Archetype Blade Dancer becomes available once you have a lvl 50 character with 45 mastery levels in Bard (a healer archetype class). This encourages and rewards players for learning the ins and outs of each class, rather than being a narrow minded ass warrior who cries "QQ Y No Healz noob?!" Here is a quick look at the 15 out of 17 total classes that will be available at some point during closed beta (side note: names are not final and may change for launch):
Warrior: One of two starting classes. Relies on heavily fortified and upgraded heavy armor to absorb maximum damage in combat. An ideal class for players to become accustomed to Eden Eternal.
Knight: The knights motto is cliché but dangerous, the best defense is a good offense. They are specialists of dodging and blocking attacks while maintaining a relentless assault on their foe. This is a tank that will wreck all in his path if left unchecked.
Templar: A third tank class relies on faith in the gods to sustain him in battle. Not only do these tanks possess near endless stamina, they also unleash magical holy hell on their surroundings, making them a danger to heavy tanks and squishy casters alike.
Thief: The thief is a sharp dagger wielding poster child of melee DPS. They move quickly, attack even faster, and have enough utility such as stealth to live to strike the enemy's backline a second time.
Martial Artist: The martial artist is second to none in hand to hand combat. Though not as wiley as a thief when it comes to escaping, the martial artist will devastate his or her foes faster than their foes can counteract the martial artist's rampage.
Blade Dancer: The third option in the rouge line is very unlike the previous two. Carrying the background of a bard, the blade dancer plays a hybrid role of melee DPS and and party attack bonuses. Having one in a group is truly a deciding factor in the tides of battle.
Ranged DPS Archetypes
Hunter: The hunter puts the oomph into Ranged DPS. A skilled assassin, these champions of the bow mortally wound their opponent with unexpected opening attacks and leave their victims to die slowly as they futilely attempt to escape at the paws of the hunter's pet tiger.
Engineer: These rocketmen have dedicated their keen sense of aim and skilled hands towards technology, allowing them to master explosive grenades while enhancing their capabilities beyond mere mortals by encasing themselves in iron suits. Power Ranger fans, your MMO has arrived.
Ranger: The ranger is the fast attacking, heavy crit focused version of the Hunter. They don't rely as heavily on surprise opening attacks as they can cut down a fully aware opponent so long as they wield distance as their weapon.
Cleric: Masters of party support. The Cleric is knowledgeable on the art of healing, removing debuffs, and preventing allies from taking damage in the first place. This high demand class also specializes in bringing fallen allies back to life and fortifying them with long duration stat bonuses.
Bard: The bard is a much more dynamic party support counterpart to the cleric. They can change their tune at a moment's notice to provide what the party requires at vital turning points in battle.
Shaman: Shamans commune with spirits of the ancients, summoning them to grant their allies with immensely powerful protection charms. A true master of shamans may even be capable of creating an artificial casing to hold the power of these spirits in a physical form, towering over a battlefield and causing immense damage to all who oppose it.
Magician: The magician is the second of the two starting classes. They are masters of every element. A truly wise magician will study the weaknesses of each monster and player and unleash the elemental power necessary to focus and destroy those weaknesses. Their powers allow for immense burst damage if left alone and reasonably strong damage over time skills for when the magician is forced to stay on the run.
Illusionist: The illusionist is similar to a bard, but much more offensive focused. These jesters of the battlefield confuse and weaken their enemies to the point of near immobilization, then swiftly maximize the power of their carry allies to finish said enemies off.
Warlock: The warlock is a magician that has succumbed to the lure of dark magics. While these magics tend to be overwhelmingly powerful, they carry great personal risk to the warlock who attempts to harness them. Only a focused and clear mind can harness the power of the warlock without destroying themselves.
Well that's all for this edition. I will return later this week for another discussion of Eden Eternal. Check out part 2 for detailed information on the features involved with building and customizing a class unique to you.