by Adam Williams, Onrpg writer
I recently sat down to play CroNous-US, an MMO that was originally created in Korea until Aeria Games, a North American game company purchased the right to open a US version with their touches on it. Its still in its Open Beta phase.
There are four classes, named Fighter, Valkyrie, Magician, and Savage. The first thing you notice when you start CroNous, is the limited customization in the character creation system. During character creation, you pick class, sex, and thats it, so you come out looking like every other person who ever created a character. If you ever played Diablo 2, you’ll recognize the character types. Savage is very reminiscent of Diablos barbarian class, Valkyrie is a combination of the usual RPG thief/rogue classes, and Fighter is a new melding of Savage and Magician.
The light at the end of the tunnel for customization however is shone upon you with the skill tree of the game. The skill system for CroNous is very detailed and varied. Almost no two characters will have the same skill sets yet, at least until the game has been out long enough for the longtime players to define the ‘uber’ skillset.
There were however many glaring annoyances to the game that may or may not get fixed, as Aeria has limited control of what they can change in the game code.
The biggest annoyance is that CroNous has a fixed camera angle that you can never change or move at all. Its held at a set point directly above the character, and other than spinning left or right, you can’t shift it for different perspectives of the battlefield, or even move it closer to your character. This is made even more annoying by the method of moving it. The only method of attacking or using special abilities against enemies is with the mouse, but movement is shared between the mouse and the keyboard, and you can’t toggle which one you prefer leading to weird conflicts where you slightly mis-click and go charging up to the enemy whether you mean to or not (this causes very large annoyances if you try to be a bow Valkyrie and want to shoot from a distance and perform a Leeroy Jenkins into a crowd of enemies).
Secondly the quest system is about as bare-bones as you can imagine it. As far as I could see, there were three quest types in total. Go talk to person Z; Go kill X monsters; or Go kill X monsters for Y items. There are also time limits imposed on the quests that while they aren’t irritatingly short, they do cause problems if you’re a new player and have no idea where to find the monsters.
The collision system for players and players versus mobs is one of the more annoying I’ve ever encountered. You cannot move through players or monsters at all, meaning that in very crowded spots it becomes an exercise in maze completion to get by, and if someone happens to be away from keyboard in a small doorway, you have no way to get by them to try and reach whatever you’re after.
And finally, there is no way to rest in this game at all to recover hp/mp, and there is no cure spells at all that I ever encountered or even heard about, leading everyone of all jobs to have to spam hp and mp potions like a crack fiend with a trust fund. Potions are cheap, but this still isn’t a very enjoyable way to run around, just quaffing potions over and over and over.
The graphics of CroNous are rather simple quality so far, in an older 2.5D Style. The limited graphics also make it confusing trying to differentiate between the three to four different types of the same monsters outside cities and in other areas. They all look exactly the same until you move your mouse over them to see what they are.
The music of CroNous however is very good. Its very fitting to the areas I thought, and was one of the better sound layouts I’ve seen. The fighting noises and monster noises were the usual grunts and explosions, but once you turn those off its much more enjoyable.
Ah, the real point of CroNous, the PvP system. I wasn’t able to personally participate in the PvP system, but according to other players its very fun and balanced. Theres also a virtue system in place where people who like to go around and gank lower level people end up so low in virtue that if they happen to die, they’ll drop some of their more valuable gear.
CroNous seems like it will be a very fun game once it receives a little bit of love and polish from Aeria. It has some quirks right now, but the depth of the skill trees and the friendly people will likely have you coming back.