First Impressions of Beta Server Stress Test
A Review by LightKnight(obviously):
In between the indie game development and otherwise WIP content that is barely done. I believe this to really be the biggest sugsess among the bony community so far.
Going further into it.
The combat over all is average when the server has very few players in it. The stress test is proving its worth for all to see. Lagging for me was at a minimum if I could find an area that didn't have a high population. Mostly that was the "everfree forest" more often then not.
The strongest mob NPC Which I won't say the name as it will spoil the name as most first timers will get the surprise ruined
in the game has to be the craziest.
Despite it being rare if you know were they spawn then it is a really good idea to party up. At best I've seen 10 players take down this "boss mob" without much trouble. However it dose one hit you if you don't have the right fighting tactics or are not a flier. That doesn't stop this thing from chasing you though if it locks you as a target. As I've found out the hard way more times then one. So in short great work on that one developers.
The combat system its self. The lock on system wasn't complete despite the Tab being listed as an option to switch between targets in the "controls" menu. Even so this didn't dissuade me from using some of the skill I knew of from prior MMO games to duck and dodge to try to avoid any damage from the attacking mob once I or it had engaged me. The AI is relentless, never letting up for an instant. The range is impeccable allowing them to move at least 50-100 paces from there original spawn point. However this also makes for a few occurrences that are not very merciful to partied players. For instance, when you are sitting around waiting to regain health and stamina(the main staples of the combat system)
there where times I have been KO-ed for just sitting in the middle of a group of them. A few of my partied members also experienced this. The emote system which I'll get into later doesn't help much in the way of combat. Switching between emotes and combat prompts should be flawless, yes, I agree with that. Not in such a way though that it interferes with combat via accidental user input. In short I'd rather a fool proof input system rather then something that can't be reasoned with. Laptops and tower computers alike both have a differing keyboard key and hardware setup and I found mine to be a bit of predicament just going in cold turkey without changing any of the key bindings.
When it comes down to environmental graphics, they are not too bad. Still there are the issues of graphical artifacting in some areas when you have a very poor connection or are in an area saturated by light. "Cloudsdale" has to be the biggest one consdiering how much actually went into its design. Despite this I look forward to seeing some of these issues being sorted out when Alpha is announced. The best environment I'd have to say without a doubt would have to be the "Zecora's hut map" lots of differing changes in light and experiments with textures have really made this the best to look over. Exploration is a must for any brony fan, but beware for the mobs will be a hunting.
Though I wouldn't be saying to much of one other possible map addition that could be accessed by pegisi or unicorns at a later date. There is one other place in the twisted maze of Equestria's forest that I would love to visit should the developers think of adding the map in.
Navigation, in general navigation I found was fairly simple. Unless you wanted to really be adventurous and wander into a maze of wooded areas on strictly on foot. I can't see anything wrong with this as of yet. An even better addition I'd like to see might be the use of other means of navigation. Like minecraft's mapping system. Or any other successful game for that matter. Not to meaning to be to coy on the matter. I'll touch further on some of the other means navigation plays a part with the races of ponies later. I think I'll save the best for last though.
Shops, I often found quite a few players milling about a shop NPC. One pet peeve I've always had though is that having one NPC spesific to not just one spesific item. Sure I get that some items will become more functional later on. Even so this was insane!
So many people horded around this one NPC I could barely sell anything let alone getting thing to buy of of them. As with any MMO I've always seen either a very singular host side shop or a classic "spread out and sorted" shop system. I will not be merciful to this as this can make or break any MMO game. No key items = no players. Even if the exploration content is good. The selection of vanity items allowed for some motivation to grind but nothing to really wear that could be considered talent or character skill related. My suggestion, add the stalls that are seen in cloudsdale and use those as vectors with color skeem re texture out by sugar cube corner as it is a frequented area. Other areas could also be where the tents are. Race exclusive items could also be warranted. Without the need to actually be the same race. This way customization can be partial without the player being effect negatively. Instead it would allow different types of combat to be unlocked. Different items have different abilities or skills added to them. So skill would be of the users definition and style of play. Not of a leveling system. In short, think sword art online.
We have NEVER had such a MMORPG in our time based off of such a crazy but awesome sound game mechanic.
Transportation was simple but still a bit flawed. Even so loading of the maps was without fail 60% of the time warrenting the number of players online and lack of bugs with the system. At my own personal count I've found 5 bugs wrong with this system. All of which have been reported and my personal account added in as well. Hearing that there are other additions to be added is fine. The linear design is understandable to test how the loading works for the maps maker. I still have to wonder though. Why are the other transportation listed in the introduction not available yet if they are necessary to reduce lag? Even if that question maybe left unanswered. I can only assume that it is because the map models for them are not done yet.
Pony Races: I can only save the best review for last as I absolutely enjoyed every moment of playing or experiencing every type of skill they have to offer. Still I have to warn you this is a partial synopsis of what I've found out about them game lore wise. So don't go crying to me if you get spoiled.
: Even if I didn't have the chance to play this one I can say from experience of what this one race is about. This being the equivalent of the magic user of any game but with a major twist. A few quest lines allow the user access to a different spell that turns them into a cleric/healer with an area of effect healing spell. Like any magic user they are mostly long ranged. Being able to fire arrows of pure arcane destruction at any woodbie attacker. However despite these two I have witnessed the occasional melee "ground breaker" attack as it seems standard to all pony races. Stamina I can only venture a guess is replaced with mana. However considering the combat system this can be argued against with a second opinion or playthough as this race. Backstory to this race I'd only contribute to the show its self as it has not been added into the game but there are a few stubble hints that they have made a major impact on the world. Easter eggs litter some areas portaining to them if you know what to look for.Pegisi
: Personal first choice I had a very in depth playthough with this and I must say. FLYING RULES!
Other then that I have to say that these pegisi have a bigger backstory to them if you are willing to put in the brain power to figure it out. Nothing short of starting in Cloudsdale wouldn't fix and a few WIP quest lines to really figure some of the major compassionate writing behind this brony and pegisister built social structure. In combat they are able to fly up and regenerate slower then most unless you find a solid structure to perch on top of. This is a great starting character for anyone wanting to explore and get places quickly without the hassle of waiting for a cool down timer to drop off. They also have more longer ranged attacks then that of any other of the races. Prompting me to determinately say they are the rouge class of the game with that major acceptation as I've stated earlier. They are very agile and can fly well if you can figure out the controls. In a way without being over powered they have made the biggest impression on me so far. There is very little in the way of games that have a flight mechanic such as this. Simple yet very understandable. Double tap space to go up held left mouse button to bank up, down, left, and right(for the more advanced flight nut) and the simple wasd control for the less advanced and simple minded approach to flying. Also DO A BERREL ROLL!
Thats right Q and E while in flight doing a berrel roll was more often my favorite past time in the open skies of "ponyville" while messing around
trying to break the machanic
showing off some of my other gaming experience.
Enough with the of the "how much I like this race" banter. Moving onto the attacks. The first one is standard like the others. A ground pound that causes a small area of effect damage while next to the mob selected. The second a ranged "dust storm" that gives the mob a new definition of putting a spin on things. Lastly is a wide sideways arcing attack I like to call the "feather blade" that can hit at least 3 mobs at most even if they are not selected. Put to good use this attack REALLY slice and dice.Earth Ponies
: Not really much to say about these mostly food growing ponies. Boring as it might sound they THE strongest out of the entire bunch. If your more combat oriented and like to tank a lot I wouldn't doubt these tough customers are for you. There attacks are the basic "ground pound", a bucking attack as far as I could tell but can only tell its a medium damage style attack, and the "earth shaker" an AOE attack that you better watch out for. Same as the size of the healing spell the unicorns use this can only rival the "feather blade" for being able to hit multiple targets and still ante up major damage. There backstory yet again can only be related to the show. However there roots you could almost literally say are growing up right on Sweet Apple Acers. Even if you can't say to much about them. They still help out Equestrian society in the best way they know how. Growing the best stuff to eat without needing to use magic.