Monday, July 1, 2013

JL - 1 Forsaken World Review

I posted this review first on MMOSITE.COM and it can be found here:

http://my.mmosite.com/4069628/blog/item/nanbos_forsaken_world_review.html




Perfect World Entertainment had recently launched it’s website to offer Perfect World International. They also tossed in a few games that were hit and miss (mostly miss). So to keep up and five people something that broke the mold. They put into Closed Beta Forsaken World. This was a promising title that seemed to carry with it the dreams of what Perfect World should have been. So many of us thought it was PWE way of saying, “We understand PWI has allot of problems and is a cash cow. But it is to cemented to be changed, so here, enjoy Forsaken World. Will promise it will be out PW title to adapt to the changed market”. We saw lot’s of screen shots and allot of media covering how the landscapes, mounts, and classes would fit in. The Open Beta came and it has been several years since release. Here is my review of The Forsaken World.

Perfect World (PW) is the base title for PWE (perfect world entertainment). So when you cook a game for months called Forsaken World (FW), the public assumes it will be big and the next best thing. After all, you are titling it pretty much the same name. I played this game to end game as a priest and have a few alternative classes as alts. I can start by saying this game is beautifully designed. Very well thought out details in the environment and the characters. It was one of the first graphically AAA looking F2P title that ran smooth on my gaming lap top. I liked the choice of colors and models. This is all apparent in the
character creation: I like the animations and art of the characters. They feel alive and have the design of a fantasy world I want to be in. The colors are lively enough to almost seem cartoony like wow, but the models are sober enough to be “realistic”. Sort of a mix and AION is probably the best example of Forsaken Worlds style (AION being the superior in my opinion). But Forsaken World runs on a lesser engine and therefore runs better than most of these other top notch graphic games. You have Human – Dwarf – Elf – Kindred – Stoneman. The classes are Assassin – Bard – Mage – Warrior – Priest – Marksman – Protector – Vampire. The classes are race specific. Feel free to check out the website to see what races can become what class. I chose Human Priest to level up and later played Stoneman protector.
The Character creation uses slider bars to chose a limited selection of looks, from faces to hair selection. This was a little bit of a let down for me because Perfect World has an amazing character creation tool set that Forsaken World DOES NOT have. To see a game so big and blazing and called FORSAKEN WORLD (PW…FW…PW…FW…) you have to give it love. Put in your perfect world mark on the game! But no, we got a very basic, but good looking, character creation. No customization like in PW…oh well, like I mentioned, it is good looking nough that standard models will keep me satisfied. Besides, it is not like any other games are better (besides AION, and PW).
The animations, emotes, and gear are all enough reasons to stay hooked and enjoy your avatar. For a persistant world, it stayed social enough that I was always zooming in to view other players and enjoyed our own style. Occasionally coming across a clone, but meh.

Gameplay: Forsaken World has a beautiful starting area for each Race. Humans have a starting quests in a castle like setting. Kindred have their vampire roots in a gothic like map. Stonemen well…you start level 1 in a cave. One thing I like about Forsaken World is that you partake in some epic quests right away. No boar grinding to level 10…however this rhythm of progression and story will soon cease to be. So enjoy this starter area.
It will not be long that you will find yourself in the main city. The grand hub. The home of all: Freedom Harbor. The game continues on to give you quests to spread out from Freedom Harbor. This is interesting because you will notice 3 major things here on out: 1) Freedom harbor is where you will be doing all activity: Class updates, auction, bank, etc etc. 2)You can AFK exp level up here… 3) Daily quests and events are given here.
But, at first, you have quests that need to be done in other arts of the world! So you are off! The map is lavish and beautiful to travel across. I was soon meeting up in typical off site camps and villages taking the quest hub quests and getting exp and loot. The most memorable places are the well designed desert regions and deep green jungles. You will learn the pace of quests. Some are harder than others, or require group. Typical MMORPG progression, then it all STOPS!
There is this horrible moment in the game where it no longer becomes that cool leveling up social mmorpg through questing, and it hits the “we are out of maps, and you have dungeons to grind” moment. This is sort of end game. Mid level is basically end game because what you start doing now, is what everyone up to end game is doing: Events, farming. The end.

But wait… there is a catch. This is actually the “fun” part. It is around mid game you wall have been basically pushed, if not forced, to chose some kind of craft or reputation farming. I for one chose alchemy and had daily things to do around Freedom Harbor. With no more quests or need to venture out, you will now call Freedom Harbor your new home/game. You see, there is this EVIL man named Henry. Henry is a sadistic old man of Freedom Harbor who get’s his jollies from watching you suffer. Your entire gaming life will now evolve around speak to Henry and doing events of Freedom Harbor. So here is how it works: the once beautiful and large world of the exterior is now useless, unless you have a material to gather or a boss farm to do. Otherwise you are now centralized in the main city 99% of the time. It breaks down into:
(A) Henry gives Daily quests, but you need to do them in mass about 20 to 50 of them to get any noticeable gain of EXP. His quests are so ridiculous. Like, “give me baked beans”. Which means you need to start upping your cooking. He can demand any kind of good from any craft. The trick is, you can not have all crafts. So you need to go to auction house or private vendors for supplies. The catch? You need to use the cash shop to use the currency used in the Auction house or private vending…YUP! You can also try and farm the mobs that drop the item instead of making or buying it…YUP! That means farming. That does mean you get to visit those beautiful lands again, but since you just go to one specific mob…you will not really enjoy all it has to offer, rendering lots of dead space and empty land in Forsaken World.
This is just one of Henry’s diabolic daily quest needs. And if you cannot fulfill it (there are quests you need a group or credit card to do, hands down) you can drop it, and try again and see if he gives you something better…some time yes, sometimes no. You can drop it only 2 times…there was a patch to increase this to about 3 times, and then you have to wait for the reset time (24 hours in game, not character bound). Is this sounding fun….?

(B) EVENTS! You do have armor to pieces to think about, and enchanting, and gold! All hard to come by. All necessary. You physically cannot do the dungeons without the right outfit (Typical PWE game). Credit card is ALWAYS the short cut. But you can also do daily events! If you ever played Star Trek Online, you know that to hail star commend and other quest givers, you just open the menu and select the mission you want, throw it in your log, and off you go.
This works the same. You open an even calander that is based by the hour, and day. They break down into fighting a boss, doing carnival games, fishing, defending a boat under attack, etc.. These are pretty well done. I have to say, the over all idea that my mid to end game is nothing but events now, and that my life in game is now scheduling when to log on at what hour for an event (this game is not friendly to people with JOBS in real life, as this game becomes a time log in job).  BUT the are designed well. The boat to defend is a boat in the harbor of the village so it is very persistent and open world event that anyone can run up to and help out. Others require a group and are instanced. The carnival is key and vital to your existence mid game. It is the boost just to about 5 levels to end game. It gives exceptional exp, and cash shop coin… The problem is, it is boring. It is a series of minigames. Pop the balloons, stand in the circles, etc. Fun at first…but when you go from epic questing in the jungles doing lots of killing in sexy outfits…To playing child like baby games under a tent for the rest of the ENTIRE GAME… you have to stop and wonder WTF was PWE thinking?! Sounds “fun”?
That is it folks. That is basically the core and heart of Forsaken world. The guild experience is nice and you get guild bases to get some perks and boost those events. But again. The experience is so extract from the game you started out with. For example, guild events give extra exp than all other events, so you log in, run to the guild base, stand around in a group around a fire and AFK exp for double EXP….that is it. Lasts about 30min… Seriously. Sound fun?
The AFK exp is nice but just so lazy. MAKE CONTENT AND QUESTS to keep people moving! Not afk exp because you ran out of ideas!

(C) Crafting, love, flying, and other things: Well, since I just explained all there is to do in this game. I guess it is time to explain the other things you will be doing in Freedom Harbor. Crafting is a daily event as well. Daily quests reset every day and you will profit in upping your crafting by talking to and doing tasks for crafting npc’s.
There are strange daily quests that require you find a female character (if you are male, and vise versa) and give her perfume in exchange for a gift. Once the two different sexes have done an exchange, you finish this daily quest and get big exp rewards. I exchanged with many women. Probably have some dwarf kids running around, but I never knew true love…
Flying mounts came as a patch. This, in my idea, was nice to get over some difficult mobs to do some of my quests. But it is SOO exploitable it really destroyed the game for me. The last shred of “fun” of trying to get around killer mobs is now kaput! All you do is hop into your balloon, and fly to the material you need. This shrinks the feel of the world, but gives you access to all of it. And some great screen shots. But all in all, it feels like a second after thought to the game. They also, of course, made daily events that involve your flying to shoot balloons in the center of Freedom Harbor. Yes folks, you will fly, you will have quests to fly, and you will have flying mounts to unlock and win…BUT YOU WILL NEVER USE IT OUTSIDE THE MAP! You are a prisoner of Freedom Harbor. Flying mounts are just for looks. The quests are over. No need to fly and do quests that don’t exist. They just serve as cute mounts that float. Totally useless.
There are races, and allot of other stuff going on in the center village. I can say, as a game that runs off of minigames and events. Forsaken World shines! I never knew events done so organized and planned out in a game like FW. You also blend into the grind and events so much that honestly…levels do not matter any more. In fact mid to end gamers are mixed constantly in the quto grouping for events. It doesn’t matter any more…Sadly… that is all it has to offer! I have no idea why they created race starting areas and PvE content if the mid to end game is just event and boss grinding. There is ABSOLUTELY no more story to be told! What happened to the dwarfs searching for artifacts in the desert? What happened between the dark and good elves? Wha…oh forget it, it is PWE, they have no idea!
This game has so much potential. I can say, if it used traditional questing, and better PvE content, I would pay cash for this game. But it uses events, and dress up and begs for cash .Which leads me to the next and last item of this review: The cash shop.

CASH SHOP: PWE rears it’s ugly P2W head once again. This game is the “no mistakes” approach. I will explain but first the breakdown:
Diamonds – Golds – Silver – Coppers – Gold Coins – Soul Coins – Leaves (cash shop currency).
Technically you can buy cash shop currency, and you cannot use auction house or Vendors without Gold Coins. Ntohing drops cash by the way. No mob farming will ever give you drops you need. You must get everything through quest hand ins. So there are a few key events every one does. Like I mentioned, the carnival is the one place, if you spend the 45 min to 1 hour doing it every day, you get “tickets”, collect hundreds of tickets and turn them in in exchange for these coins. Once you have enough, you have 1 CHANCE to buy the armor set someone may have farmed and put in the auction. If you screw up, the coins stop 5 levels ish of the end game, so you are screwed, you will have just enough for what you need, assuming the economy is not broke.
It plays out like this: Do dungeons, farm gear, put it on auction earn gold coins. Do it enough you exchange gold coins for Leaves, or cash shop, and you can start getting more stuff. Problem is, you cannot do the dungeons unless you are decked out. SOOoooo. Someone, somewhere, some guild, needs to spend real cash, get coins, buy the armor, do the dungeons. Since this game had dedicated farmers when I was in it, I had no problem getting what I needed (some pieces a little off), but I grew out of it, and there was no way to get the end game gear unless I had nice guide.
You soon will drop the feel of “ME in a fantasy land doing things!” and soon get the “This is a scheduled work of events to make cash” feel. And that, sadly, reflects my experience in PWI, and most PWE games. It just is not fun…
The actual cash shop has nice costumes, mounts, etc. You will be tempted as you wear the SAME THING FOREVER! 


BUGS: In addition to client side bugs, I also had lots of in game, game breaking bugs. The carnival was bugged just about every 2 weeks. And since entrance is limited to 1 time per day. If you got bugged, you lose an entire day’s effort and have no reason to be online… This applies to various other event bugs and NPC bugs. Translation bugs rampant. Missing or auto path bugs…list goes on.
Look at me here flying as a horse…that is not a cool mount…that is a bug.
Sidenotes: Slow updates. It has it’s first update in FOREVER!
Bad customer service. The game client is the worst game client I ever used. Crashes, bugs, work arounds. It was not my PC, there were official forum topics given to us, and promises of fixes we all suffered in the “next patch”. Next patch made it worse or nothing at all. I have to download so many 3’rd part programs to get it stabe enough to not crash…and that was always temporary.
I did some poking around in the data files and found some very bad coded material. I can go into it, but it is a boring long story. Let’s just say lots of signs of effort, then give up, then patched over.

The way the leadership is set up, responsibilities and powers are shared in guild relations. We had a psycho in the guild that banned every one, locked the passwords of guild stuff. Stole all the stuff, quit the guild, and then destroyed the guild website. There was no way to recover, and the first day, we were shocked and in disbelief and tried to just get everyone together to explain it was an act of terrorism and nothing personal. The second day we realized how this destroyed the game entirely. We couls no longer level up the same. We no longer could do the quests we needed, we basically had to back track, but in a game that builds you up with just enough for the next part, if you blow it, it is impossible to back track. You might know what I am talking about if you play PWI and put stats in the wrong place for example. You won’t know until end game the horrible mistake you have done. And it is to late.

My final score: It is hard to judge this. I had a good time to start. I love how this game looks and runs, especially on low end PC’s and laptops! I think, if you approach this game, not as a typical MMORPG but as a mini game, event, casual farming game. Then you are on the right track and I do not know allot of other games like it! So, I guess, as a Typical MMORPG it just fails and get’s 0/5 for the horrible design and mid to end game experience. BUT, as a game you can AFK level up, and then casually hop into a daily event and profit, I say yeah 3/5, and I cut it low because I think there is no such thing as causal. All the events, enticements, and things you will need. Casual will get you NO where. You would need to plant yourself down and do the grind. I have 500 mob kill quests to do as a daily…Sounds “fun” right?

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