Skyforge First Impressions

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TBD Overall Score

Simply stunning graphics, challenging gameplay from the get go and a refreshing change to the same tired fantasy clones

Takes a little long for classes Ascension Atlas to open up and become more customizable


There’s been a lot of hype and anticipation surrounding Skyforge, the new MMORPG from the combined forces of Obsidian Entertainment (KOTOR2, Neverwinter Nights 2, Armored Warfare) and Allods Team (Allods Online) and so we were pretty excited to finally get to try out the closed beta of the game with an all access account. For those that don’t know much about the game the basic premise is that you start life as an Immortal on a fantasy meets sci-fi planet where the Gods are not simply the beings of faith but are actual figures that answer the call of the people from atop their Divine Tower and send down Immortals to aid the common folk.


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The lore alone clicked with us straight away, the idea that these Gods were simply overseers of the planet, using science and technology to monitor the problems affecting their worshippers and actively involving themselves in these matters. Second to that, and probably what has garnered such interest with the game, are the graphics which in certain places are quite simply breath-taking, but we are experienced enough to know that great graphics don’t necessarily make a great game. So as hard as it was we tried to put the visuals out of mind as much as possible, and it was hard, it seemed like we were constantly salivating at each new area we entered and admiring the overall level design that always gave a scope of grandeur.

With other MMORPGs, for us, it is always a case of the challenge that is one of the most important aspects. So many, scratch that, too many developers cater towards the idea that their MMORPG is going to be the first MMORPG their players have experienced and create a really show learning curve and tweak down the difficulty so as not to overwhelm new players. The truth is that this isn’t fifteen years ago where most people hadn’t even heard of an MMORPG, gamers are much more experienced and it’s fine dropping players in the deep end and giving them a challenge instead of the constant trashing of mobs without breaking a sweat. Skyforge does this extremely well, even playing through the tutorial we could see that there were moments where if you didn’t time your skills right or try and use tactics to move away from a bosses big attacks, you were going to find yourself face down and hitting the “Resurrect” button.

We’re pretty experienced gamers, with both MMORPGs and beyond, and even we managed to fall to a particularly taxing boss fight [Spoilers incoming] in the Port Naori instanced area (albeit it was labelled as being difficult). When entering the area your quest log tells you there’s two bosses to kill, for now there’s only one around so we figured it was a typical sub-boss leading up to the main boss type battle and steamed in with our Paladin for some melee combat. We were wrong. Once we’d inflicted a certain amount of damage after a certain amount of time a cargo container burst open and some naga/merfolk type creature rushed us and started casting a variety of water based spells and seemingly shielding the melee boss. We quickly realised that we might have to take down the caster first and so switched targets and once we’d inflicted a set amount of damage on it fled back into its cargo container leaving us to fight the melee boss and would re-emerge throughout the battle.

We died three times as a Paladin in that battle, getting close each time but struggling towards the end to keep our hit points high enough (throughout combat enemies continuously drop healing orbs that you can pick up, but they were getting a little stingy towards the end of the fight). Fortunately we were able to take advantage of one of the key features of the game and that was switching our class. We’ve in testing our Paladin but hadn’t upgraded him too much in comparison to our ice mage Cryomancer that had been our main character for the majority of our test, combined with the fact that he is a ranged heavy damage dealer it change the odds with the battle and we were able to beat it first time round. This class switching feature was a godsend (pardon the pun), able to simply go to your menu whilst in the middle of an instance mission and choosing between the available classes means players can switch up for any scenario or ensure they can switch into whatever class a group might need. We only had access to the three basic classes; Paladin, Cryomancer and Lightbinder, but we also saw in our travels the Gunner and Berserker classes, which we can only presume are unlocked through Founders Packs and such, and they looked damn impressive from what we saw.


Skyforge screenshots (6) Skyforge screenshots (2)

We did find that, from time to time, there was an element of having to travel a long way simply to speak to an NPC, particularly in early mission where we had to find a Worshipper in the Park, which meant a long run through the area just to speak to him and there being no real quest or action (though admittedly the area looked amazing so we weren’t exactly bored whilst taking in the sights). Any time you have to travel back to an NPC or go back and forth between them can be a little bit frustrating and unnecessary, and other games have handled this kind of thing better (such as Star Wars: The Old Republic with the use of comm devices and holomessages from NPCs when you complete a quest so you didn’t have to go back to them).

That said at least in Skyforge you don’t have to keep picking up quests one at a time from various sources, from our experience we got the majority of our quests when speaking to an initial area NPC that would simply update as you completed them. Similarly claiming rewards when you complete a quest is an instant and effortless affair, particularly useful with the crystal resources that you earn completing quests that can be spent on upgrading skills in the Ascension Atlas system, which meant we could keep upgrading our character as we played.

The Ascension Atlas was initially a concern for us, basically a web of nodes that players unlock by spending their resources (similar to Path of Exile, but with each class having their own tree). When initially looking at the Atlas it seemed extremely linear, with no choices initially and players only able to unlock the same new skill/attribute node in the same order as everyone else. From what we could tell in game the path only really branched out a little towards the end, but even then not that much. However from the screenshots we’ve now seen from other sources it appears that, somehow, these Atlas’ become considerably more customisable and so what was our biggest concern has since been abated.


Skyforge screenshots (1) Skyforge screenshots (9)

So the big question is “is the game worth it”? Well we’ve played a lot of MMORPGs and more of them are released at a pretty steady stream and none of them seem to offer that much in the original core gameplay and instead focus more on different endgame features. For us Skyforge felt like a breath of fresh air, from tutorial to early missions the combat and challenge was exciting, it didn’t feel like we were playing the through easy newbie quests just to learn the controls. The game delivers both aesthetically and functionally, and whilst the GUI feels a little different and has that sci-fi element, it’s nice to see an MMORPG not simply using the same cut-and-paste World of Warcraft interface that we’re tired of seeing.

Honestly? We could be looking at the best MMORPG that’s been coming to the market in a very, very long time.



One Comment - "Skyforge First Impressions"

  1. paladinMAX 16/07/2015 at 11:09 -

    Sorry for my English by advance.

    Skyforge is a beautiful mmo, amazing graphics with dynamic gameplay.
    You have open Maps you can choose and play with other players.
    You have instances you can play with pick up group
    You can manage a facebook game inside the game to upgrade your Order and obtain more skills.
    Evolution is based on tree, same as ff10 you unlock sparks you can unlock 15 classes.
    After unlocking a class you win progress sparks for each classes.

    Ok and after ?
    • It’s been one week i play this game and 80% of the players of this new mmo are not happy.
    Quests are boring > kill 20 – kill 50 – kill 15 – kill a boss and do it again.
    Same as a lot of mmo’s skyforge do not give’s you anything new to do. You just kill in chain.
    But to be honest it is cool. The way you play is so dynamic you don’t even think about it.

    Do not remap your keyboard.
    Actually arrow do not work correctly and you can’t dash right and left if you want to use arrow.

    Gamepad is on the way(same as Vindictus) but at this moment do not work and you can’t use Xpadder or any software to add a gamepad.

    LIMITATIONS -> Big problem!
    This game is based on false assumption : players can’t play 7 days long.
    IF player play like hell they are too heavy to play with other player and they add limitation evolution system.
    This is one the worst idea EVER !

    1) When you have reach your limitations : you just can’t evolve anymore in any ways.
    2) Players are already find a way to evolve faster than other using Order. And now you can cross players with 3 times your level in 5 days. This is the absolute proof this limitation system does not work at all.
    3) You can’t play this game to evolve anything’s more than 65 hours and only if you are casual gamer.
    It is the worst limited system i have ever met in a MMo.

    Playing become useless. Of course you can play to obtain another stuff but this stuff are useless and don’t worst the time you play. You can farm special items to obtain costumes see the next chapter.*
    There is no crafting, no housing, no pex at all to obtain speeder or armor.
    Everything you drop are limited and you have limitation issue on EVERYTHING !
    Money, evolution sparks, colored sparks …

    Open Maps
    You can do them 1 times to obtain colored sparks AND THAT’S ALL after that, redo this open map is useless. Another one by the dust and seriously another horrible choice of gameplay i ever met.

    Open Maps – Special resources
    you need farming some special resources to obtain costumes, 1200 each per map and they drop 1 to 4 at the time. I explain : you do the map in 2-3 hours you win all prizes EVEN in you take each resources you cross you never reach more than 300 and you need 1200.
    I get 1 special costume and it take me 8 hours !!!! drop rate 2 to 4 per farm.
    Now i am in one open map the resource drop 1 by 1 ONLY.

    Players can’t redo the quests to win serious prize, so why came back here: just for farming useless stuff.
    And by the way costumes are not really cool and don’t even worst the time you lose for that.

    Normal Costumes
    It’s simply a joke. 90% of the costumes are colors of the costume you can get in training when you try each class.
    And they cost 100.000 ! You win fiber to unlock them 25 by 25 !
    Some costumes cost only 6000 and they are not colors but again not really amazing.

    THE Order
    It’s a facebook game or you can see that same as Ogame.
    You unlock avatar, you send your avatar in mission. It take them : 15min (rare) 1h30 : 80% – 8h : 20%. All the quest rebooting each 8h.
    You win 90% bullshit.

    i am not sure if it is good or not :
    Following your main quest you can open More place to your order. Each place have chapel. Each chapel gives you more stats (accuracy, critical hit …) BUT for that you need to WIN Okki tablet or Other stuff. OBTAIN THIS STUFF IS SIMPLY ON THE HARDEST THING IN THIS GAME.
    Only one Okki tablet each 2 days and only 1 ring each x days.
    So it is long and not simple, cost resources And if you want a ring you need to do a quest… waiting 3 days … no one’s comes. pvp 10 vs 10. So if you simply can’t do the quest you can’t upgrade.
    Another one by the dust.

    I) PVP
    This is funny. But this is the worst balance ever !
    Long range vs melee vs dps vs … = a big WHAT THE F ??
    Some classes on this game have a so long range you can never reach them as Paladin.
    BUT it is really funny.

    For the first time in the mmo’s history get a premium account reach your sparks limit faster and reduce the time you can play the game !!!! FIRST TIME EVER !!!
    I speaking with a Russian players who get 10k of sparks and i was amazed because i was at 3k evolution so i do not understand how ?? The answer was a SHOCK on my face :

    How did you? : “I use my crystal (money in game with $ when you get pack you get a lot) to transform them into game money, rush my order this way i up faster. ”
    Are you sure of your choice because with the amount of money you can buy 90 days of premium state? :
    “are you mad ? premium states are shit! i don’t care about reach my limit faster and i don’t care about this stupid limitation system, this way each weeks i can play more and go to hell the premium state”

    Normally premium states in any mmo’s give’s you advantage in Skyforge you obtain more restriction.
    THE FIRST : PAY to NO PLAY in history on the video games industries.

    The combat style is amazing ! but the skill never change.
    You can only get upgrades for your 10 basics skills.
    And they don’t add any real graphic change, it is just power upgrades.
    You reach faster than light this point : doing the same thing in loop.

    You have a large and huge choices of gameplay style BUT YOU NEED TO ACCES THEM !
    limitation issue remember ?
    And again if you have the reflex to try each class in any mmo’s you can’t in skyforge.
    Because you can change classes when you want, reach your precious class take time.
    You have some classes at start 3 for free player i think.

    BUT if you hate your starter class you are going to suffer a long way for perhaps play something you dislike again.
    Of course you can try them in the training room to be sure of the way and of the sparks you invest to reach the class you want to play.

    Of course you are in deep trouble if you are free player to get a GUNNER for example.
    The Way to reach classes is veerrryyyyy long for some classes and it cost you a lot of colored sparks and with the limitation i hope you are not in hurry and i hope you never spend sparks in any case just for upgrades your power, i mean sparks who are not on the way you want !!! If you are doing that it takes you more time.

    1. Graphics : 10/10 Amazing
    2. Game play: 5/10 Good Combat system / Repetition
    3. Crafting: 0/10 None
    4. Housing: 0/10 None
    5. Keyboard: 5/10 Remap Bug with arrow.
    6. Evolution: 2/10 100% FRUSTATION SYSTEM!
    7. Clan system: 6/10 (limited of course)
    8. Chat: 3/10 (no slidebar, no shortcut…)
    9. Gamepad : 0/10 None & broken with Xpadder
    10. Fun: 4/10 65h max per weeks !
    11. 100K Costumes: 2/10 90% variation colors of the free costume
    12. Resource Costumes: 2/10 “Déjà vue”
    13. Backgrounds creativity : 8/10 Good creativity.
    14. Premium account 0/10 Reduce you gameplay experience !
    15. Money / Economy 5/10 Limitation = limited amount in game currency.
    16. Skills 5/10 no real evolution, only 10/8 skills.
    Make your own choice, you can try it for free, but don’t place your hopes too high you became disappointed.
    This game for me is a big deception because of the limitationS.

    Playing 2 days per weeks and doing facebook games 5 days is not my conception of gaming in a mmo.

    80% of the player hope for an update who remove/upgrade this limitation.
    Limitation grow up each weeks but honestly further you advance further you need more sparks for everything so it is useless.

    WITHOUT limitation issue this game is one the best mmo ever.
    With this limitation he win the – Frustration Awards –