Review: TwelveSky 2: Rise of the Sky Clan
Usually, I’m not much of a Free2Play MMO player. I grew up playing MMOs such as Guild Wars, and most recently EVE Online, but I never got myself into those games such as RuneScape, and the other downloadable Free MMOs. None the less, in an effort to expand my horizons, I decided to take on Aeria Games and MAYN‘s TwelveSky 2: Rise of the Sky Clan, as it seemed as if it could be entertaining due to it’s more classic MMO feel that it gave off at first. After downloading the client, which could and should have been in some sort of compressed format, as it was 2 GB large, and took a few hours to download, I jumped right in to the game… to find that I couldn’t actually sign up in the game’s client, and had to back up and register my name on their website. A small issue, yes, but one that I will admit I was kind of surprised about, as most games have at least a link to sign-up within their client. None the less, after I was finished registering and ready to go, I began creating my character. Character creation was simple, yet I made my character look quite bad-ass after I was done. When you create your character, you have to choose which Clan you wish to join, each with their different positive and negative aspects: Dragon Clan, Snake Clan or Tiger Clan. I decided to choose the Snake Clan as my character, and jumped right into the game from there.
The first thing that I found was that movement can only be controlled by mouse clicks, and not by the keyboard. Another small issue, but one that I usually disable first thing when I play an MMO. Right away, the game asked me to speak with one of the NPCs, who did nothing but tell me who he was, and tell me to visit another NPC. One major downside is that this game has no real “tutorial”, although they do have a point where they say the “new player experience” has ended. Getting to know who each of the NPCs were, what they did, and what their menu options were for was very hard to understand, and didn’t really say much. I found myself using the “Help” menu to keep checking on what to do, and how to control myself, since there was no tutorial telling me how I should be playing. When clicking around to move my character, I found that there is no pathfinding aspect to the game; if there is an object in the way, your character will stop in front of it.
After I finally finished the new player experience, I was sent out to begin battle. The battle system is very Dungeons & Dragons-like, you attack based off of the speed of your character, deal damage for a successful hit which is shown in your chat system, and have a chance to block your enemies attack as well depending on your stats to do so. I found this to be a simple, yet enjoyable battle style, especially when I learned skills to aid myself in battle. When you begin, you are given a skill which allows you to regain your health and spirit, the magic power in the game, just by standing in one place and using nature around you to conjure it. This skill was interesting, as I have not seen it used in games before. The skills that you use have no cooldown time and are only limited by the amount of Spirit that you have, and in between each battle, you are able to replenish your Spirit using the auto-heal skill, so it removes some of the skill needed in the game. The enemies that you fight will continuously respawn from the ground after one is killed, so there is never a lack of enemies to fight in the world. As you fight, the enemies drop items, weapons and equipment, as with any MMO. I found that I was given an overabundance of healing items, in which I was already given 99 of them to start the game. The inventory system reminded me of Diablo, as it contained squares, and each piece of equipment took up a certain amount of squares to carry them. Unfortunately, most large items such as weapons and armor took up a default of four squares in a 2×2 fashion, while the small healing items and rings took up one single square, no matter what they were. Still, the inventory system is a very successful system, so it was good to see it used properly.
Speaking to the NPCs was a treat, because while every NPC had their own voice, to say hi to you in some way, the voice acting was mediocre, at best. And with the NPCs only showing up to tell you to come to them once every once in a while, it made it hard to tell what I was supposed to be doing next. Sadly, I found that the game requires you to level grind in order to continue with the game; something that I feel is the worst concept to use in an MMO. After I had finished a simple mission to kill an ape leader, I was given no information on where I was supposed to go next, so I went off into the world to go and kill some more monsters in order to level up. As soon as I had reached the next level, I was given another easy mission to kill three of a certain monster. Level grinding, sadly, is a terrible way to progress the game, although I understand that it’s used to keep your level up to par with the monsters that you are going to fight in the coming missions. None the less, I began to receive less and less experience from the monsters in the area, and the farther away from the town I got, I was faced with monsters that, even at my current level, I was unable to fight without getting myself killed. Luckily the only penalty for dying that I was able to see was a trip back to town, but that was still a nuisance as the monsters I had to fight were growing further and further away.
Every once in a while, I was given the opportunity to fight in a PvP arena for players between the levels of 10 and 19. We were transported to an arena in which there were players from all three clans, and the Snake and Dragon Clan were allied together to try and defeat the Tiger Clan. Nine times out of ten, I found this to be a terrible experience. While it was a two-on-one battle, the Tiger Clan was overpowered in more ways that I could describe, and we were massacred in a fashion that made PvP outstandingly not fun. The basic idea was we were given a certain time limit to kill as many of the enemy as we could, and with the map as small as it was, we were at their respawn point all of the time, and they were taking us out in seconds. After the PvP match was over, the losing team was given 50,000 silver; more than I had earned in 15 levels of grinding by thousands. I didn’t see the point in these matches at all, but I was swimming in silver after only a few of these, even though we were losing most of the time.
Overall, I found that this game had more issues than I wanted to let it have. I was having a great time when I found out how to learn some new skills, and was actually able to kill some of my opponents, but until I had learned that, I was just attacked and running when I was near death. The grinding system is a system that should not be implemented in an MMO any longer, as it brings boredom to a whole new level, and the PvP I was subjected to was terrible. I would like to give this game the benefit of the doubt, as there were tons of players in the town whenever I logged in, although 90% of them were selling items and not actually playing. The game has potential, but unfortunately falls flat with too many downsides. If you’re looking for an MMO to play in your spare time, this game will probably be for you, but as an MMO to play hardcore, I just can’t see this being the one to choose.