By Jason Parker (Ragachak)
I’ve been watching trailers for Revelation Online for about a year now it seems. No matter how hard I tried, even utilizing what I call press powers, I couldn’t get into the closed beta. And how did I try! I heard a host of people kvetch and complain about issues in it, but I’m not worried about that. That’s the imperative need for a beta, closed or open. Are there still problems with the game? Of course there are! Otherwise it’d be released, and not in beta. Come on, think about that! However, I have seen some pretty hilarious bugs and glitches; they don’t make the game unplayable even in the slightest, but they are funny. I’ve crashed more times than I care to admit, from really awkward things, but again, nature of the beast. While there are some negatives, for the most part, I’ve had an absolute blast. The landscape is gorgeous, the character customization is unreal. Its Black Desert Online levels of options! They might not be quite as pretty as BDO characters, but nonetheless, there are so many damn choices and options. I was worried that characters would be locked via gender, which is not uncommon in Chinese MMOs, but I was glad to see that such was not the case. It’s not a big deal, but it is important to me; I don’t really want to play as a Loli [Little anime girl]. That’s not okay with me.
Behold the horror of graphical glitches.
The first, and most important question that has to be asked is “What kind of game is Revelation Online?” What kind of MMO is this? To me, it feels like kind of a blend between Guild Wars 2 and Blade & Soul. It’s a mostly action MMO, where you can dodge roll, jump over abilities, and cast powerful abilities, but you can also swap to tag targeting and stuff if that’s your fancy. In fact at startup you can pick from one of three styles of combat, then proceed to change it anytime you want! Each class I feel probably works better with different styles, as it will tell you when you go to make the selection. I use the WASD configuration, instead of clicking to move or stuff like that. I play so many MMOs that using WASD is the only mechanic that just feels right. The character classes are, for the most part, fantastic. The first I tried was the Swordmage, thinking I would be playing some kind of sickeningly powerful wizard that darts in and out of melee’ combat [a’la what Red Mage will likely be in FFXIV: Stormblood]. However, this was one of the first true disappointments I found in the game. Instead, I wave my sword angrily at enemies and fire magical bursts at them. I love the stance shifting, but it has what, four? Each different element affects your skills in different ways, and frankly, it was kind of a lot to keep track of. I can only imagine it being more cumbersome the longer the game goes on. So I moseyed on to find something new.
I found what I wanted in the Gunslinger. It’s a very Sengoku BASARA version of Magoichi Saika, only with fewer sticks of dynamite. You have a cool robot pet that helps you fight, you throw grenades, lots of AOE damage. Is that too esoteric? Anyway, the gunslinger utilizes a pair of pistols, or they can switch “modes” into a slower, sniper style gun that changes the effect of your weapon skills. That’s the big takeaway from this game that reminds me of Guild Wars 2 for the most part: From what I’ve gathered, all the classes can utilize some manner of stance dance or swap, where they drastically alter the way the class plays. Not to mention you can switch your stats just about at will. It has a minor cost, and it’s not difficult to get the currency for it. After I spent a good half hour to an hour messing around with character customization, and a few more finding a character, I finally, finally got moving in the game! One of the good and bad things about the game is that the first thirty to forty levels are an extended tutorial. I have never mashed the F key/clicked my mouse that many times for anything before. I feel like once you hit level 29, and get your wings, the game opens up in a wonderful way. You still have tons of quests, and things to learn, but now you can fly around forever! Only certain maps won’t allow flight. Made me wonder just why I get a horse at all. Why the hell would I ride a horse when I have glorious, magical wings? You can improve them with feathers that come from certain chests, and I imagine there will be bigger, cooler, more epic wings as the game progresses. Speaking of movement though, while I do think the movement animation is… interesting, you can auto-move to quests. For most quests, this will be easy. The game will run you towards your next objective, if you aren’t 100% sure where to go, or simply want to relax and enjoy the scenery, you can do that. That’s why I auto-move, because honestly, this game is breathtaking. There are times where it won’t know where to take you, or you’ll get stuck in the geometry, and waddle back and forth like a doofus, so do pay attention. AFKing between quests can leave you quite frustrated and lost upon return.
Speaking of quests, good lord, there are so many different quests! You have quests that are basically color-coded/set up in tabs on your screen to cycle through them. You have the Curiosity Quests, which are stuff built around story/exploration for the most part. You’ll go somewhere, hear a story, watch a cut-scene, or it’ll help you with increasing the size of your inventory. These are not main story quests, but they are marked with a purple exclamation mark, or will appear on your quest list to be accepted. You also have Raid Quests [for dungeon-style stuff] and your Active Tab as the primary objective menus to deal with. Thankfully these are numbered, both here and on your map/minimap. That way you can see exactly which quest corresponds to what. Red Quests are for Active/Growth in the game, learning how the game works and helping others. You can help by Mentoring people, and that will give you rewards as well. The green quests are for “Common Livelihoods,” which I think is kind of a cool way to expand your gameplay/customization. Post level 20 you can add social jobs to your game, which includes stuff like Demon Hunting. The Yellow Quests are the Revelation Overview, which basically means the main story. You have so many things you can do in this game…
I almost think there are too many things to do! I’ve come upon almost ten factions, and from what I understand, there are presently twenty, each with six levels of reputation, with rewards for people putting the time in. Thankfully, the quests that have offered rep rewards have given more than one rep sometimes, and pretty decent numbers. I haven’t seen the World of Warcraft 10-20 point rep gains just yet. That’s just such a soul-crushing number though! I hope they aren’t required for doing end-game content, because that sort of grind is going to be incredibly deflating. And while yes, there are a pile of factions, once I was able to get my wings, I was able to do pretty much everything I ever wanted in game. I flew around to new quests and side quests, letting the main story go for just a little while. This is not a game where you have to grind on monsters forever either. There are so many story-based quests/missions where you talk to people, enjoy humorous/interesting conversation, and increase your power without having to kill 200 boars.
I do want to talk about one feature that I think is just damn wonderful despite being a rather minor feature. It’s a little thing, but it’s the little things that really make this game fun. When you can equip something that’s an upgrade, a little fancy window pops up on your screen offering you to equip it with a demo of the stats. I love this feature so much, because I keep getting stuff outside of my level. It’s a nice little touch because I sometimes miss when I get an upgrade in a dungeon. Those are the only real times I felt like it was just time for non-stop action, in Raids. Raids are basically the dungeons that tell a story, and have a set of goals in mind. Some of them have cool traps to disable, but for the most part, it’s the formulaic kill and progress. That doesn’t bar them from being challenging! The bosses are worth fighting, the loot drops are awesome, and there are individual loot drops for bosses in addition to the chests that you receive per boss kill. At the end, you’re rated for your performance, how many tasks you completed, and can unlock a pair of chests that give you more exp or other fun rewards. I enjoy the dungeons quite a lot, but it’s just the tip of the iceberg as far as “stuff to do” goes. You can create a guild, build structures for them, tackle PVP content, craft… But let’s talk about the one thing I’m on the fence about.
It’s called “The Path to Greatness.” Almost all of this stuff are things you can do in the world as the game progresses. However the first choice is something you purchase using Aurum. Aurum is a currency that you can spend real money on. The shop for this doesn’t really sell anything outstanding to break the game or make it “pay to win.” There are starter packs and stuff that have exp in them, but all of the clothing items are cosmetic. You can, however, purchase the important crafting stuff if you want to go a bit faster… But it’s not the only way to get them. If you’d like, you can acquire Imperial Coins to get Aurum. But other than that, your only choice is via cash. It’s not a big deal, adding spending money on the Path to Greatness. The other items on the list are very easy to do: scouring dungeons and getting kills, eating/drinking, Guild Quests, doing certain dungeons, Guardian Trials, et cetera. There’s also a tab that shows you what sorts of special things unlock as you gain levels, which is kind of neat. Guardian Trials are like a series of stages where you survive encounters, or kill enemies, or stay alive, things of that nature. But the fact that it’s there at all hidden amongst the regular daily/weekly content kind of irks on my nerves.
What’s the Story, Morning Glory?
State of the Beta: Great
All told, this game is wonderful! There are tons of ridiculous and hilarious graphical glitches, parts of it are still not translated, some of the cutscenes do not have subtitles so I have no idea what was said. That aside, I have a feeling those will be fixed as the game goes forward out of Beta. It has some incredible features, and one of my favorite features I have yet to mention! You can make players disappear! Tired of people hogging and standing on top of quest objectives, or maybe your PC is simply slowing down because of the sheer amount of things being rendered! You can press a button, and those players can stop being rendered, making your PC calm down. The game will also tell you when your computer is low on physical memory, and next to that is a convenient button that takes you away from the game. There’s also the Aptitude System, which garners you exp on a daily basis [depending on level], or the stat point system, which gives you stat points post level 20, and you can ask the game to automatically place them for you. The game does help you get stuff you’d spend on Aurum, but you have to work for it. You can get Imperial Coins in-game, but they’re rare, and you really have to put in the effort.
This is an action-packed MMO, and while it’s not perfect, this is the time to make those issues aware. If you don’t, you have no one to blame but yourself if they miss something you as the player could have helped them with. We’re all human, so the more people that get in-game to try it, find bugs, and explore the world, the better an end resulting game we’re likely to get! I feel like, at the end, a Guild Wars 2 action style with the feel of Blade & Soul is not something to be missed. It’s a rich world with a beautiful design, non-stop action combat, and an intriguing story to be told. The big question we always ask when playing a f2p game is “Is it going to be p2w?” Because pay to win is the biggest scumbag move a company could make. They’ll make cash and alienate their fans at the same time. That’s not going to happen here; I don’t see it. Revelation Online is the richest Chinese MMO I’ve played in quite some time, and I’m looking forward to flying further into the skies, and seeing just what this world has in store for me.