By Jaime Skelton (MissyS), Senior Editor
Today, Trion Worlds has announced a new game being added to its publishing roster: Devilian. We were one of the privileged few who got an early look at the game in a private press demonstration, and now we can reveal the project Trion has been teasing since last Thursday with the phrase “Devil inside you.”
Let’s lead off with the basics: Devilian is an action RPG (aRPG) styled MMO, with the same isometric view and hack’n’slash style made popular in the west by the Diablo franchise. An ARPG from Trion is surprising: their current portfolio consists of all 3D, relatively traditional MMOs. End of Nations, a project Trion closed the doors on, was the closest the publisher has come to having a less traditional online game. Like ArcheAge, Devilian is also being brought to the west for publishing, having been developed by NHN Entertainment. Although it is heavily ARPG focused, it was clear from the demo that Devilian is more of an MMO with ARPG elements than the other way around.
The game currently has four classes: the Evoker, the Shadow Hunter, the Cannoneer, and the Berserker. Each of these classes can be thought of more like a character, as seen in traditional action RPGs. Each is specifically locked to a gender and race, treated like an individual character with their own story. The Evoker (female) is a spell-slinger class, which has control abilities that include the ability to pull in enemies into a damaging vortex. The Shadow Hunter (male) is a whip-wielding badass that has a variety of stealth and throwing attacks. The Cannoneer (female) can lay traps, minefields, and lay down heavy AoE damage. The Berserker (male) wields two swords and serves as a fairly traditional plate warrior. Trion notes that the hope is to continue to add additional characters/classes in the future.
Additionally, each character has a Devilian mode, which is where the “devil inside you” phrase comes into play. This is a supercharged mode that comes with its own armor, equipment, and skill sets. In order to access this form, players must collect devil souls by killing monsters. These souls are then used to power the transformation for a limited time.
There are multiple ways to power and customize your character through gear. The equipment system is more akin to an MMO; quest rewards and dungeon drops offer the bulk of player gear, although randomized items can drop from enemies as filler gear. Equipment can also be specialized with the use of gems, which can be leveled and customized. Mounts and pets are also found in Devilian, and offer additional benefits to their players such as reduced agro radius and additional inventory space.
The game also offers a talisman system, which immediately reminded us of modern online CCG card management systems. Characters have multiple slots to add talismans into, unlocked at certain levels. Talismans offer various boosts to character stats, and can be collected frequently as loot and from tearing down unwanted equipment. Each talisman can be leveled up independently by merging additional talismans onto it, in much the same way multiple cards can be used as “fodder” experience in various card-based mobile games. Players should expect to be constantly finding talismans as they play so that they can always be upgrading their talisman sets.
One of the more distinct features found in Devilian is the world boss system. Devilian has an open world rather than a series of instanced private maps. Because of this, the game can offer the added perk – and danger – of world boss encounters. These bosses are big and deadly, and can easily take out a single player in just a few seconds. These encounters are meant for groups and guilds to take on, and for individual players to skirt around unless they like eating dirt.
In fact, Devilian promises a fairly robust guild system. Guilds can group together in Guild Alliances with shared support, making it easier for guilds to support each other with world bosses and other encounters. There is also an in-guild gifting system, where players can send bonuses to each other. As players send these gifts to each other, their bond increases, which in turn increases the strength of their gifts to each other. Guilds can also declare war on each other, adding new PvP and PvE competitive elements between the guilds.
Devilian is designed to be a game that can support “pick up and play” gamers, as we’re told that players can make progress in their game in as little as 15 minutes. It also boasts a sizeable amount of group content with three player dungeons, ten man raid instances, and an endless dungeon. There is a looking for group tool to support this group content which will even port players straight to the instance once a group is found. Dungeons can scale to the number of players in the group (from one to three), and all story dungeons can be run solo (meaning you’ll never be stuck waiting on a group to get through your main quests). Each dungeon has had its environment and enemy AI hand crafted, and we’re told that bosses are far more like MMO bosses than ARPG bosses: they will telegraph moves and have their own specific mechanics to learn and be mastered. Players looking for a challenge can also try out Heroic dungeons, made specifically for groups of three players. And since the game has no ‘holy trinity’ system of tank, healer, and DPS, any combination of classes can attempt these challenges.
Players wanting to PvP can not only participate in the guild battles already mentioned, but in open world PvP and rift events along with three versus three (3v3) and forty player (20v20) battles. In PvP areas, players can possibly expect up to 200 players battling it out at once. For those who find PvP stressful, we were reassured that PvP is optional and open world PvP is only in certain areas, leaving the rest of the game a safe zone. Finally, players who want to jump straight into the action will be able to use the Eternal Battlefield system. This feature acts similar to RIFT’s Instant Adventure, allowing players to jump in and roam the lands completing challenges as a group for experience.
Devilian was a surprise announcement to us given its differences from other MMOs that Trion Worlds publishes. The build we saw looks familiar to many of the ARPG-styled MMOs we’ve seen from eastern developers in the past, such as War of the Immortals, which have become scarce in the current MMO market. If you’ve been around a long time, at first glance Devilian might just look like a generic MMORPG – but this is definitely a game you can’t judge at first glance. We look forward to the upcoming alpha and beta tests of the game to see just how well it can deliver on the promises it’s made.