Tuesday, March 24, 2009

The Chronicles of Spellborn

I played The Chronicles of Spellborn beta for a few hours. I didn't like it. I didn't even plan to write a review. But fortunately the guys of Killed in a smiling accident wrote a review which echoes many of my feelings about that game. So instead of writing the same stuff again, I'm sending you over to them to read their post. :)

What disappointed me most was the revolving hotkey bar, which sounds like a nifty idea from the outside, but somehow totally fails to be interesting. It is far too easy to string a series of reasonable damage dealing abilities on one row of the wheel, put a couple of buffs and debuffs on the second row, and that is all you ever need. It really isn't any more interesting than a fixed hotkey bar. The problem is that in TCOS, just like in WoW and pretty much any MMORPG, there is often no need to react to anything in combat. You can work with the same spell rotation for every mob. TCOS just puts that spell rotation on a rotating bar, which if anything makes it more obvious that you're not really making intelligent choices in MMO combat.

I'm still waiting for a MMO that works like Magic the Gathering, that is you prepare a deck of abilities and get a *random* draw. TCOS is like Magic after you stacked your deck, which removes the interesting surprise bit. So after a few hours in The Chronicles of Spellborn I started to ask myself "why would I want to play this?", and couldn't find an answer. So I stopped.

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