Sevencore Early Look Pt 1 – Introduction
By Darren Henderson (DizzyPW), OnRPG Editor-in-Chief
So lately I’ve had a complaint. Perhaps it rings true to many of you as well. The F2P MMORPG environment feels stagnant, as if all the good ideas have been used up and they don’t know where to go from here. Sure there are a few good eggs in the batch like C9 originating the action combat genre or Eden Eternal’s multiclass, one character system but overall 9 out of 10 MMOs are the same as many of its predecessors but with a slightly tweaked lore and upgraded art style. Of course they do this because it’s safe and proven profitable in the past. Why would they take a risk when what has worked so many times before is still working now?
I think gPotato was one of the first publishers to see the writing on the wall however. What has always worked isn’t working any longer. Point and click F2P fantasy MMORPGs have been dropping and closing down in droves over the course of the last 12 months as more P2P titles switch their business model and more F2P titles crowd the market. So what was their answer? To incorporate what has worked in the past but take it in a new and very different direction from its predecessors. Combining some of the best F2P title functionality in a unique world setting with huge customization options, I present to you gPotato’s answer for 2012: Sevencore.
My first impression about Sevencore was it carried a very familiar artstyle I had seen before in some of the most popular F2P titles on the market. However something wasn’t quite the same. I believe I finally settled on the conclusion that it was the familiar thrown into space with a splash of Jurassic Park meets Pokemon all flawlessly combined in a beautiful melting pot. I’ll leave that teaser unexplained for a bit though while I introduce the first thing I care to look at when playing a new game: character creation and classes.
Character Creation and Classes
Starting off there are three races available to choose from in the current build of Sevencore. Each offers unique but not terribly overpowered racial abilities that might impact your decision outside of looks. Each also offers a male and female version so no need to worry about getting locked into gender restrictions.
The Sion represent a race of seemingly bioengineered humans that are greatly attuned with technology around them. Though lore is still rather lacking it sounds like they aren’t exactly natives to this region and bring in new strains of thought and technological advancement that is quickly changing the reality of the other two races they share the world with. In terms of passives they have 2% higher chance of inflicting critical damage and power up the attack strength of mechanical mounts (aka this game’s version of mountable Pokemon) while riding them.
Like the Sion, the Nuuk are also outsiders that recently arrived in the region bringing their own cultural values with them. Though while the Sion represent sharp drastic change, the Nuuk are more akin to a gently flowing stream that contorts and adapts to its surroundings to blend in. Their elven appearance is no coincidence as this race offers the most powerful caster passive with a 5% increase to their mana pool. They also bolster the HP of beast mounts while riding them.
What happens when you mix privateers with a half human half beast hybrid? You get one of the toughest races around known as the Einher. These fearless pillagers hone their mental stamina and physical limits by riding along the coastline pillaging villages as they go. If you’re looking to cause some havoc on PvP battlefields, they offer a 5% higher HP bar and strengthen the attack power of beast mounts while riding them.
Based on the passives I assume that there is likely a fourth race in the works that specializes in boosting the HP of mechanical mounts while riding them but no information is available on when we’ll be seeing that expansion race just yet!
The classes are available to all 3 races and offer two weapons a piece that the player can specialize in. In addition all classes have a line of common skills that are acquired naturally from leveling up as opposed to weapon specific skills that must be purchased and learned through skill books.
Before you see Warrior and immediately think the tank of the trinity force, it’s time to reveal the next ingredient that separates Sevencore from the pack. There is no dedicated healing class. Now that your preconceived expectations are broken, the Warrior is essentially a tank rogue combo class that can spec down twin blades to become balanced in both offensive and defensive utility, or opt for a full out offensive role with a blade (read oversized Japanese RPG Broadsword) that utilizes devastating melee attacks at the cost of attack speed and survivability. They do however get to wear heavy armor making them the most naturally tanky class of the bunch.
Gunners represent a jack of all trades class. They wear medium armor that offers decent protection but not on the level of the warrior. It’s still enough for them to get into the fray and take a few hits, which is exactly what you will be doing should you specialize in the pistol class. Pistol users can stay on the move while firing, allowing them to cut through enemy lines and get in range of priority targets that might normally be out of reach for a ranged class. If you are more of the walk softly and carry a big gun type then try out the Artillery Launcher. It fires slowly and you have to plant your feet so you aren’t blown away by recoil, but these bad boys bring the heat and can level the entire front line of an enemy team if your ranged assault is left unopposed.
If the greater risk, greater reward glass cannon style of play interests you, you’ll find it with the magician. Utilizing the least effective armor type, these mages sacrifice defense entirely for offensive might. Their weapons, the wand and the staff, offer very similar choices between the Gunner’s pistol and artillery. So if agility mages with dots and instant cast spells are more your style, go wand. If you want to see the biggest firework show Sevencore has to offer while confusing and disorienting powerful foes, grab a few friends to watch your back and carry your staff with pride!
Customization without Limitations
The next step on the tour of differentiated options is the vast amount of tweaking you can do to your character while creating it. While faces and hairstyles are unfortunately reduced to a (large pool) of defaults, when it comes to your body you can go hog wild! Whether you’re looking to make a midget Einher gunner or a massive elven mage, Sevencore has you covered. I imagine it’s only a matter of time before the hilarity of a marriage system is to follow.
When messing around with the Nuuk and Sion for instance I could choose from 12 skin tones ranging from standard peach to radical rainbow options. Hairstyles offered up to 18 colors. However there were some variations in face and hairstyle choices as well as colors between races, offering a bit more variation in terms of telling them apart from each other. And in terms of body sliders I could adjust from top to bottom:
Height, ear length, head size, neck width, neck length, shoulder blades, upper back width, breast size, chest width, waist width, waist length, arm size, arm length, hand size, pelvis size, leg width (primarily thighs), leg length, and feet size. As you can see below I had some fun making a 9 foot elf mage with foot long ears.
Though I only played through the first few levels I was impressed by the look of some of the end-game gear in the preview section on the character creator. And in case you were wondering (and I know you were)… yes there are breast physics. It’s 2012 after all!
Pet Mount Morphs – Sevencore’s Defining Feature
Before I can continue any further describing Sevencore, it’s important to explain the system of pets in Sevencore. Akin to Plato’s Allegory of the Cave, it is also true that a player can’t conceive the nature of PvP, PvE, and how the game can function with a lack of the holy class trinity in Sevencore without first understanding the pet system and how it’s more intricately tied to your character’s development than nearly any F2P title that came before it.
Pets begin as eggs in Sevencore acquired through PvP conquest, world bosses, and as drops from successful dungeon raids just to name a few ways. If you wish to unlock the potential of an egg, you must place it in your incubator and share experience until the pet reaches level 10 and becomes battle ready pet.
At this point you have 3 options to utilizing your pet. You can summon them to fight beside you.
You can ride them as a mount to get around faster.
Or you can merge together with your mount to unlock special abilities and strengthen the stats of your pet.
Mounts also come in various types including beast vs mechanical, land based vs flying, and so on. They also fulfill various roles broken down by attack, speed, and tank with some having stronger utility support skills than others. Pets follow alongside you when out of combat and can be specifically commanded to attack and use their skills on selected monsters so long as they are in free form mode. They are regulated by cooldowns and an energy system just like your character so you’ll need to buy special pet only potions should you wish to push them beyond their limitations in battle.
As pets fight and take damage, they lose respect for you. Should their respect hit low enough levels, their fighting power will plummet and they’ll become near useless. It can be restored through food items and the like but due to the nature of pet strengths and the fact that their respect is going to decrease on long missions, it’s advisable to train multiple pets to keep with you at all times depending on what the situation calls for. Also be advised that dungeons have serious platforming elements and flying pets aren’t blocked from use inside them so make sure you have a balanced line-up of land pets for taking on these situations.
I’ve barely scratched the surface of this game and will be back tomorrow to offer a look into the many PvP-centric features this title is built around as well as my general impressions of the game as a whole. Keep an eye on our Facebook and Twitter page for part 2 of our early look at Sevencore!