Skyforge is a new Russian free to play MMORPG. The EU/NA Open Beta has started just a month ago, on 16th July 2015. I have started playing it a week (or so) later, and still have “lowlevel” character. This will be my impression of the game by a player of around 2500 prestige. The new update had a content mainly aimed at characters with over 30.000 prestige.
Story and World
Gods have left Aelion, your home planet, which became vulnerable and open to alien attacks. You were once a mortal, but after experiencing (near ?) death situation, you became an Immortal. On your path to become a god, you will have to help many people. Most often, you will find them quite hostile to you, blaming you for all the evil in the world and always being too late. Fear not, there are those who are grateful and even start to worship you, even before you truly become a great God.
I definitely wanted to be a God.
The world ingame is a mix of science fiction and fantasy with ancient Greek flavour. It’s a very nice idea. As for play, the world is mostly instanced. You can teleport everywhere from just one place.
Graphics and Sound
Graphics is pleasing to the eye, unless you’re running at minimum. At medium (which is the shots quality), even when my computer’s score is higher than required for medium, I sometimes get crashes (it’s said there’s a memory leak). And after that, I get small windowed game on minimum…
Sound is good. You can hear NPCS talking, but their words don’t match subtitles or the sound gets cut suddenly. My character is muted, which is a bit irritating.
Somehow after the update I started to have issues with textures in several places.
Character and Classes
You can have only 1 character per account. The reasons? You switch classes anywhere outside combat with just 1 click and you can easily change your character’s appearance.
You start as a (white male) anonymous mortal soldier and it’s just after the retrospection on how you became immortal when you can actually choose your appearance and class. There are 3 classes available from the start: Lightbinder (support), Paladin (tank) and Cryomancer (damage dealer). There is no healer class in this game, healing other players is possible for Alchemic (1 skill with long cooldown) and for Divine form (over 30k of prestige). I wasn’t too happy about that, I usually play healers. So I chose Lightbinder (shields).
To advance the class you need either coloured sparks or class sparks which you get by killing mobs. If you unlocked The Path of… you’ll start earning class sparks for that class. Otherwise you’ll get “all class” sparks which can be used on any class. You can faster max your current class or save it for other classes. That’s an interesting system and I like it. Want to play another class? You have to unlock it, and it could take weeks (due to limits). Some players dislike this system, I have nothing against it. I enjoy playing Lightbinder and have no urge to unlock other classes.
I generally like how it’s needed to plan how to advance your character. Great job on this!
There are no levels in Skyforge, there is just prestige level. You get prestige by equipping better weapons and rings and by enchanting them, unlocking abilities and talents (using one of three coloured sparks) or starting from 2050 prestige by managing your Order and building temples.
There is a limit on number of sparks, currency you can obtain during a week of play. The limit goes up every week. Many players voice out on forums that they are unhappy with it and that they reach it too soon. I’m in the opposite group – I’m happy with it and in 3 weeks of playing I haven’t capped the limit even once.
Prestige decides where can you go and which quests are available to you. It’s easy to get higher prestige, unlike getting proper item level in Echo of Soul. If you unlock the bonus stats for another class you played, you get higher overall prestige. The less advanced classes get lower number of sparks needed to advance… I used that to my advantage when I had like 1780 prestige and wanted to get quickly to 2050.
If you go just for prestige and disregard other statistics, you might have problems with completing missions – they will be too hard for you. The missions are scaled to match your prestige… I like this idea.
The update provided prestige scaling. I was waiting for it, but it doesn’t work well in the end. I don’t like the idea of it to be only when “looking for group” and can’t use scaling while in a pre-made party (like a duo with lower prestige friend). Looking for group in adventures means 3 people party, in dungeons – 5 people party. I didn’t get to 5-man content yet (around 3000 prestige) but from what I read in forum, people are unhappy with this change. The lowerprestige character gets scaled to the higher, but they still lack skills and abilities so usually it ends bad for them. Or bad for a group, if it’s a scaled tank.
All the quests and rewards for them (changing every 40 minutes or upon completion) you can see at Divine Observatory. You can go do easier run for lower rewards or harder for higher rewards.
There are main story quests and side story quests. The latter you get in open areas and adventures (single quests).
Open areas (like Isola Diggs) have multiple quests that can be done for various sparks at the same time. Each area is getting bigger and bigger with higher number of quests in a chain before you can kill the final boss and get final reward but each quest in a chain gives a reward. You can stop open area quests at any time and come back later to finish it, you’ll have the progress saved. Worried about other people kill stealing your mob? Fear not, if you just hit once a mob, or buff up a player hitting them, you will get the kill count. And reward. If you finished once the open area, you can come again – you get a special currency for rare costumes and some other things.
To complete the single quest (adventure) you need to kill final boss. After you completed it once, the next time you visit, you get extra tasks – if you complete them you get better score. The better score the better rewards. If you disconnect (etc.) you have 15 minutes to re-enter and continue the adventure.
There is one thing that bother me about quests. In the main storyline there is a quest where you write on Aelinet (forum) a post asking for some information. There is an NPC that responds to it, but you as a player have never seen the post at all. You get also a quest for Order (to send your adepts) and on success you don’t know in the end what the result was (like who it was that collaborates with aliens).
I generally like the quest system. With the rewards changing once in a while, you never know which quest you’ll do next, so even if you go to the same place, it’s not that repeatable. Mind you, I like grinding.
The only type of PvP so far for me is the battle (death match) between 10 players. Whoever get 10 kills first, wins. The rewards are: (possible) Okki tablets (used in Order) and some equipment (including blue rarity). Those who don’t like PvP but need the Okki tablet (spawning every 2 days) just enter to afk, which puts some tension in community. Even if you afk or loose, you get the tablet. Some people point the unbalance in PvP – especially overpowered are berserker and slayer classes, but I don’t have any opinion on this.
Some say that PvP rewards are better than PvE rewards, but I can’t confirm it yet.
Equipment and Inventory
The equipment so far is: primary weapon, secondary weapon and rings. I still have no unlocked trophies or amulets. You share the rings and enchantments through all of the classes. The weapons change. When you unlock a new class, you don’t get a weapon for it – you need to drop it on a boss. The boss could be killed with other class – you will get a random weapon for any unlocked class. I’m ok with this, most often I get weapons for my current class.
The best thing about equipment is that you can see it (and others) in the forum – so if you want some advice on the setup, it’s easy to get.
The drawbacks of eq and inventory are: lack of warehouse and expensive expansion of slots. I don’t want to even think how it’s like when you want to play different classes with different stats needed (and rings).
Got a good loot but you don’t really play the class or it’s more for PvP, which doesn’t interest you? Want to make some money? Too bad, you can only sell it to NPC (automated market) no trading with other players at all. You can also disassemble it, and use those parts for enchantment. I always loved making money on the player market, so it’s too bad there is no possibility here.
Unlocked around 2000 prestige you get your own Order and followers. In the Hall of Greatness you get your own statue and your followers give you offerings each day.
Some people call it Orderville or Facebook game… You send your adepts, who consist only of name and abilities, on the mission and in return you get some resources or followers. The quests are only “success” or “failure” no other feedback. Kinda boring. The Order is important in getting prestige, even 1/3 of your prestige comes from it.
The good side of Order is that you can manage missions in browser, without getting into the game. The other functions like claiming gifts, recruiting new adepts, building temples etc. are possible only in game.
I love the website and forum of Skyforge. You get access to chats (including guild = pantheon) with a history, even of times when you weren’t around. Your client crashed just before you said goodbye? Now you don’t have to log in back just for that, you write it in browser.
Without entering game you can see your equipment, stats and number of colour sparks. You can see what prestige your friends are too (if they allow public to see their avatar). While ingame you can check the forum too, without switching to browser. And moreover the website has the encyclopaedia of adventures, regions and group areas with information like required prestige or bosses’ attacks.
The website is updated often (with things like panorama of an open area too) and the community manager and/or moderators are active.
I like the game, probably even more than Echo of Soul which I played longer than Skyforge. The only reason why I’m spending more time in EoS is my guild.
The good things: It’s casual players friendly. Have an hour only? You can do some quests and advance your character. It’s quite easy to do a 3-man quests (even by yourself) or open region quests. It’s less repetitive than other grinders. It requires planning. It’s easier to play with lowlevel friend and the death is not a problem. You can change class at any time.
The bad things: chat interface – lots of clicking and bothersome to use on computers but feels like designed with console controllers in mind. No trade between players at all and no crafting unless higher level. No healer class. It’s still in beta and has some bugs.
Overall, I’d recommend the game. I will definitely play it longer.