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Echo of Soul is kinda okay
09 December 2015
Posted in MMORPGs

Echo of Soul is a game that has recieved a lot of hate and because of that I never really gave it a try. That was until only recently when I figured to give it a try (or rather because I was looking for a 'replacement MMORPG' for Lineage II ). By now I've played Echo of Soul for 7 days and I think I'm ready to give a verdict on the game's PvE side.

First off, Echo of Soul is developed my Nvius, which hold a lot of developerd from the original Lineage (not sure if it's I or II) team and it's published by Aeria games. And it's the publisher that I have problems with. One of my old accounts (from the time I played Shaya) has been banned and I did spend some money on the cash shop back then. With the first unban request they told me that accounts are automatically banned after a certain amount of time, and because my original account is banned again, I've made a new one and have decided not to spend a single penny on the game!

Then the game mechanics... There are a lot of 'Kill 10 rats' quests in the game, but most of the MMORPGs use these, so no problem there. An other kind of quest used a lot is one where you have to collect <X> numbers of items from the field, which is also used for the daily resource gathering quest. And while both quest types are pretty generic, I'm okay with it.
What I do like a bit less is the fact that so far the game has been one huge railroading path. I really hop from one quest zone to the next, pick up quests, complete them and get back to the NPC to cash the quest. It's dull and done over and over again already. With that, there are numerous small maps (look in the movie above) that just don't make sense, while the capital (Ignea) is REALLY HUGE and on one map. I figure the small maps have something to do with game mechanics, but what's the point of placing half a dozen (quest)monsters on a map and the next one is as small and has the same (quest)monsters..?

On the other side, there are some pretty deep mechanics in the game that I really dig. Just look at the end boss in the movie above. It's a real bad-ass monster and the first time it totally wiped the floor with me. Reason is that at that time I didn't realize that the flowers (including the Queen) boosted the boss' stats and thus made it harder for me to kill.
Along with these mechanics, dungeons can be reset and run again. Though it might sound boring, you do need to run dungeons more than once for the (random) gear for your class and so make a full set of it...

An other mechanic I really love are the jewels, though it might be a bit more perfected... There are 7 kind of jewels and you get them at level 1. To let them 'grow' in level, you need to have 2 of the same level and compound them. Up to +5 it's save and from there on you have a chance it'll fail. And of course, the stronger the jewel inlayed in the item, the better the stats are that it gives.
Sadly though, you have 7 different kind of jewels, each for it's own item to be inlayed. This means that they'll take up 7 spaces (if you keep them at level 1) and you have to collect each kind more than once to make stronger ones. Why in God's name did they create a system like this and not just 1 generic jewel that you can inlay in any item and depending on the type of item it'll change the stats it boosts..?

Last but not least something of note... Echo of Soul is only available for Europe/United States. The Korean publisher (Hangames) shut the game down because they're focussing on mobile platforms and the Chinese publisher shut the game down because they didn't want an anti-cheat protection and players left because of botting & cheating. With that in mind I hope that Nvius will keep on developing the game, even while 'Korean grinders' are not so popular. When looking at the servers we have (3 in total), all of them are (very) low populated, and I wonder how profitable this will be for both Aeria games and Nvius...


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