Eternal Lands Review: Beauty with a Bite
By Kei Beneza (dividelife), OnRPG Journalist
Eternal Lands is an MMORPG set in a medieval platform that matches the likes of World of Warcraft and Runescape. The game entered its beta stages back then in 2003. What's weird is that, the game just launched its version 1.8 patchlastyear. This means that it's been in beta ever since 2003 (my, my... that's one long beta phase).
Even with tons of competitors spawning out of the shadows, nothing seems to stop Eternal Lands from getting their share of players. It's no surprise that gamers are still interested in playing this old MMO, since most of its features are hard to find in other MMOs (will be discussed further). The game is surprisingly good for an old game (or a half baked beta game). You would think that by now these fossils would be long dead and buried, but not Eternal Lands (because it's still inside its mother's womb). Today I will brush you through these epitomic walls, judging the game's features bit by bit in order to see if the game justifies its undying fame.
Best Of Its Kind?
When I saw the game, I was utterly speechless at how beautiful it looked compared to other games back then in 2003. There are times when the graphics become a bit dull with monochromic color schemes that trigger upon the area's diversity; however, when you reach a place that caters an amount of colors, you just can't help but be dazzled at how beautiful this MMO looks.
City of Idaloran
You will be able to choose your race, gender, and your characters appearance upon starting the game. The races are as follows: Human, Dwarf, Elves, Orchan (supposed to be some half orc), Gnomes, and Draegoni (dragon people). Aside from the name of their race, nothing really separates these races from one another. They have neither racial abilities nor any other form of racial specialty. It does get bothersome since you know that picking races are basically trivial, but at least it distinguishes your character's looks. One really big No-No would be the fact that you have to pay in order to use the other three races, namely: Gnomes, Orchan and Draegoni. So if you're in the mood for F2P goodness, I don't think you'll enjoy having only three races to choose from.
The appearance tab is slightly premade, so you might find a lot of stronger looking clones as you work your way towards certain areas. As silly as it may seem, the game does NOT have any form of class option, which means that everyone is basically the same upon starting their journey. This on the other hand makes it more interesting as players would most likely have the freedom to customize their character in various ways, experimenting on different builds in order to achieve their desired character. You will also get your profession and other character specialties later in the game. Don't worry about trying certain ones because you can reset these features anytime you wish (lenient game isn't it?). Character customization has never been this good, and the best part is that you don't have to keep making characters in order to try different builds.
Things To Do
Skills are mostly leveled by how much you grind for it. There are twelve (formerly six) different productive skills that will aid you in your journey: Harvesting, Engineering, Summoning, Potion-Making, Alchemy, Ranging, Crafting, Tailoring, Manufacturing, Magic, Attack and Defense. These skills are pretty much self-explanatory and may aid you and your team in various occasions. The way these specializations differ is just exquisite as these things distinguish how powerful or wealthy you may become inside the game. It's also a good thing since specializations often distinguish you from your party (and from the rest of the game world).
There's no doubt that this game is an all out grinding game. You'll be hunting creatures for money and of course for experience. It's all about preferences and this game does make grinding a bit more interesting than just buying potions and going back to the field. The game however has been trying to reach perfection for quite some time now. You would think that they would have had more features since they did start early 2003.
Grinding in the Desert
The game encourages role-playing but simply putting a chat log for everyone to talk does not quite cut it for me. I was honestly expecting some new role-playing features, but the game just brought it down to nothing but fighting and chatting. You can act all medieval like and request for items like "Greetings kind sir! Could you please spare me some flowers?", but that's something that can be achieved in almost every game.
There are lots of diverse areas throughout the game which would aid you as you act all medieval-like, but the awesome effects would only last until you've seen everything. Of course everyone will be at awe once they enter a slightly different part of the map, but once you've seen all of it, you'll probably go like "Hmm... such a strange place" and just walk further. As far as role playing is concerned, this game does not have enough claims to support it.
For a game that keeps updating for quite some time now, I must say that it's not that bad, but not too impressive as well. The graphics are really nice, but my appreciation for this type of pixelation died four years ago. For a Free to Play game, it has a lot of Pay to Play traps. Just charging you for extra races is horrible. It would be ok if those races had anything that made them special aside from the fact that they look less human, but it doesn't feel like the payment adds anything.
The game's area is diverse and lets you scroll from world to world via ship. The game has a lot of armor sets but lacks the ability to display them. Some items tend to look the same, making it less exciting to try out new gear. There's still a lot of players playing this game, but if you consider the word "lot" as something above 300 players, then you're better off with another game.
- Diverse and broad areas
- Character customization
- Lots of Races
- Skill build up is good.
- Required payment for extra characters
- Dated graphics
- Not too many features
- Lacks substance for a game that's been developing itself for more than 6 years.