Eligium First Impressions: Stylish Yet Unrefined
By Remko Molenaar (Proxzor), OnRPG Journalist
Eligium is a free-to-play MMO in which players strive to protect the expansive world of Eligium from demons. Along the way, the players experience different adventures and face countless dangers from the perspective of their personalized in-game character. Play alone or play with friends and battle mighty opponents and complete innumerable diverse and exciting quests. Eligium stands strong among fellow F2P MMO’s by offering an opulent range of features to give the game far more depth and plenty of tricks for you to learn along the way. These are my impressions of the game during closed beta.
Because I was given a press account I had a little present waiting for me on the account; I was actually quite pleased to see my sexy Christmas elf even though it’s already the middle of February. Supposedly I had the choice between a Male Hunter or a Female hunter but their art department made this a simple decision.
When my character spawned into the game and I got to look around my first impressions were mainly about the graphics. Boy this game looks really clean and beautiful for a free-to-play game. Shanda has made some pretty pixels in the past but they really stepped up their game in Eligium. I also found a really nice feature which might be useful when you are in a crowded place or even behind a big object. If anything ever gets between your avatar and your camera, your character will appear as a highlight so you still know your position at all times. When moving around, the controls felt really weird since turning and looking around is not really that smooth and reminds me of console games that usually have fixed directions for the character to go in. Since this game is a free-to-play PC MMORPG I doubt the general audience will enjoy this feeling of limited movement. In the end I found it more convenient to point and click to your destinations and I decided to stick with that for now. After killing many wolves in the first few quests and mastering basic controls, I came across my first trading town where players can set up stalls to sell goods. The town had all the other basic features you’d expect from an MMORPG, namely skill trainers. In addition to an endless pool of NPCs with quest problems, I also found a convenient billboard with tons of quests to choose from. I gathered up as many requests as I could and made one last trip to the crafting section before setting out for adventure!
At level 10 a player is able to choose Professions. Currently there are ten Professions to choose from and each seemed valuable to me. You could for example get herbalism to get better crafting items for Alchemical Refining, and you can get fishing to get some nice fish as food.
While in the middle studying various crafts I was started by a shadowy something in the sky that blocked out the light where I was standing. What could it be… the shadow looked like some sort of flying contraption with wings but unfortunately it is impossible to look up with your camera. After back tracking for a while and getting up on some higher ground I found out a zeppelin was flying above me at outrageous speed. The environment is so nicely made I easily got distracted by its nuances and really wish there was more freedom in the camera controls so I could enjoy it fully. But enough of my random outburst, let’s return to the crafting system.
It is also possible to Reforge weapons and equipment. By adding Soul of Augmentation you can add extra soul attributes to the weapon. To forge equipment you will need to insert equipment into the Augmentable Equipment Forging window and add several other materials. This includes a Soul of Augmentation to start the process. The third slot needs to be filled with a Craftsman’s Core or a Blacksmith’s Core and last but not least the player will also need to put in crafting stones and blessed crystals to forge a new item.
In addition to the diverse quests and huge world, Player versus Player is a major highlight of my experience in beta. There are a variety of server types for people to choose from depending on how they like to enjoy MMORPGs. If you are a big fan of fighting against and with other players there are special made PvP servers to give you full freedom to do so. PvE servers exist for the more laid back player that just wants to experience the game without worry of harassment. Beyond normal PK based PvP there also exist battlefields with various victory objectives. It is possible to play one-on-one PvP action but there will also be guild-versus-guild and even faction-versus-faction battlefields with up to 200 participants per side.
To play this beauty of a game you surprisingly don’t even need that high end of a computer. It offers plenty of graphics settings and even different types of camera options (2.5D locked camera, fixed 3rd person camera, free movement camera. You will need to meet the following system specifications to play:
Operating System: Windows
CPU: Intel Pentium Dual Core 1.8G and above
Display: GeForce 7600 or equivalent
Disk Space: 4GB
CPU: Intel Pentium Dual Core 2.7G and above
Display: GeForce 8600 GT or equivalent
Disk Space: 4G
Broadband Internet connection
Keyboard and mouse
If you have no idea what kind of computer rig you are running then I predict everyone with a 4 year old computer or newer should have no frame rate issues playing Eligium.
I wonder how the game will work out when the open beta is live and it is open to everyone to test and play. This game is really Asian styled and I feel more should have been done to adjust it to western tastes prior to public testing. The controls are also clunky and I hope this will be patched up a bit as it’s a real deterrent to my enjoyment of the game. I still have high hopes for the game despite its flaws. There is a lot of diversity of monsters and each region feels really well crafted and different from the others. The attention to detail in the environment and character graphics are superb as well. Hopefully they keep this beta operating a bit longer, at least until the movement is ironed out as I can’t stand playing an MMORPG that feels and plays like a console game.