Weapons of Mythology Closed Beta Review
Pros: Decent graphics sometimes, semi-action based combat
Cons: Linear quests, linear skill progression, awful/absent sounds
We got an invite recently to check out the new MMORPG from IDC Games, a fantasy meets Asian inspired titled called Weapons of Mythology: New Age, a follow on from the previous Weapons of Mythology that seemingly shut down this year and in many ways New Age seems like a reboot with a different publisher. Developed on the Unity engine the graphics for the game already have that “we’ve been around for a little while” feel to them, rough edges, flat textures, and generally some poor designs that are well covered by some generous bloom effects to distant objects to give an ethereal vibe to the landscape. It doesn’t look terrible, but it’s far from top of the range 3D graphics.
The content is extremely quest focused and at least for the most part concentrates more on our hero getting into danger as opposed to doing delivery quests or picking up supplies for food like other games do; mostly you are sent to go and destroy the next big bad guy that you’re going to come across. The questing system, at least for us, falls down on practically every level. Firstly the quests are generic and dull, whilst they focus on combat it is typically to go and kill X number of the enemies you are about to walk into, hand it in to the NPC just after them then pick up a new quest to go and kill the next enemies you’re going to walk into on your extremely linear path.
There’s zero element of exploration emphasized by the obtrusive invisible walls everywhere, but also thanks to the auto-pathing available in your quest tracker, a quick click runs you to wherever you need to be. Some of our “favourite” quests were to go and find a lost woodsman who was about 5 seconds away and literally within eyeshot of the quest giver, another quest tasking us to go find and assassinate a general resulted in us walking around the corner and fighting him; there has been no effort to make quests fun at all and in turn requires no effort from the player to complete.
There’s little to no deviation on quests that we saw for the first 20 levels, a single linear quest chain where you pick up a quest, complete it, and then pick up the next one; it feels more like a browser RPG than an actual MMORPG in terms of its complexity. The linear progression is re-enforced with the levelling up and acquisition of new skills; your skills are all locked behind a level pre-requisite, when you reach that level you can spend gold to train them, and continuously upgrade them but once again at set levels, your advancement has no customization and each new skill and skill upgrade becomes available at the same time for everyone playing one of the five different Clans (classes).
Whether more customization creeps in later it’s hard to say, the website and forums are devoid of information, but there was no UI or menu to suggest that this would be the case whereas there were other features that we could see but couldn’t yet use. One way of customizing your characters, which we did like, was dependent on the weapon that you had equipped, each Clan able to use different weapons all of which came with their own unique skills; with a new weapon you could drag its skills onto your hotbar to use in combat, able to switch between different hotbar tabs so you can quickly switch between your different weapons and their respective skills.
Combat ranged from dull to mildly frustrating, generally consisting of surrounding ourselves with enemies and just churning out the damage without much concern about our health or mana; a quick meditation out of combat would replenish what little damage we’d generally incurred. The short lived saving grace was that the boss fights employ the use of telegraph attacks, markers on the ground indicating where the boss’s attack is going to strike, as well as the entire reticule slowly lighting up representing it charging, giving us ample time to get out of the way. Definitely better than just going toe to toe with an opponent, requiring an element of action combat, but it was still not enough to make the boss fights fun. The problem we had with the main instance bosses we fought (a giant Squirrel and some Water Gods) is that unloading our skill attacks onto the enemy would burn them down to about 50% health before we ran out of mana, the consumables we’d been provided could only be used outside of combat (seemingly pointless given the free meditation skill) and we hadn’t been introduced to any in combat mana/health restore items. So for the two big fights we’d drop the boss to 50% health and then had to fight for an age with just our basic attacks, literally battles lasting for five minutes of automated attacks with us not even bothering to try and dodge the big attacks in the end and fully able to go AFK until we’d won.
We mentioned the mediocre graphics but by far the biggest criticism comes in the form of the music and sound effects; the music whilst decent enough is super repetitive and spending an extended period in an area the same short music on loop starts to get mildly irritating. This pales in comparison to the awkward or completely absent sound effects; no sounds during combat from some enemy attacks or an absolute absence of ambience or footsteps when you are running around or riding your mount just feels flat and strange and completely breaks any immersion the game might otherwise try and build.
Overall the game is just another generic MMORPG that whilst looking decent enough simply feels like another Asian grinder but a little more limited on features. The game is a linear progression through skills and quests, the combat is dull and mindless, and whilst the end game will no doubt provide more of a challenge we have to say that for a new player experience checking the game out for a couple of hours there just weren’t enough “oh wow” moments to compel us to keep playing.