Skyforge is a futuristic fantasy free to play MMORPG developed by Allods Team and Obsidian Entertainment. The game has been in development since 2010 and its first closed beta test was back in March 2015. Skyforge’s open beta started on July 2015.
This game is gorgeous. The design is a sort of science fiction/fantasy mix with great-looking armor and character design. The character creation screen offers a host of features that you can use to make a character look the way you want it to.
In addition, I particularly appreciate the starting weapons. Whether it’s a sword and shield, or a floating crystal, the weapons look really cool. I like that from the get go your character is kitted out with good looking equipment.
Graphically, the skills also look great. The class I’ve been using the most, the Cryomancer, focuses on using ice based attacks. All of the abilities so far are stunning.
The game has only one race (humans) that can switch roles (classes) on the fly. This means that players can simply us one character and then switch to any class they have unlocked. For instance, if you wanted to focus more on damage dealing, you could switch to that role then switch to a tank class if you want to be able to absorb more damage. It’s a very good system that allows players to play different roles without having to start all over from scratch with a new character.
As I played I was able to unlock the three beginner classes. The rest are unlocked as you progress further in the game. The classes I played were:
Cryomancer – This is basically this game’s equivalent of a mage, or more specifically a frost mage. They focus on slowing their opponents, and dealing incredible amounts of damage with their AOE (Area Of Effect) spells to face off against groups of enemies. It is the main damage dealer of the three classes that you start off with. Their basic attack isn’t nearly as fun as the Paladin, who actually has combos for his basic attacks, but the Cryomancer does make up for that with having a charged heavy attack that deals some nice damage over time.
Paladin – The tank of the three, who will be spending most of their time making sure they are taking the full frontal force of the enemies while the rest of the party are off dealing damage, or keeping the Paladin alive. Paladins may be defensive, but they do have their own assortment of skills to make soloing a possibility, and one of the main ones is the combo system they appear to have. If you mix a left click with a right click, you’ll get a different attack. If you do two left clicks, and then a right click, it will also end with a different attack.
Combos are the reason the Paladin is more varied when it comes to basic attacks when compared to the other two classes. Cryomancers are more focused on their use of abilities for damage, whereas the Paladin ends up relying on their basic attacks fairly often to deal some damage.
Lightbinder – The Lightbinder, also known as the healer, or the support class. Lightbinders do have its fair share of damage dealing spells but in a party their main task is keeping the party alive. That can be seen from the fact that later on down the Lightbinder skill tree, they have heals, buffs, and even revives.
Level Up System
In an MMO, the level up system very rarely needs to be mentioned, as it normally amounts to, “kill this, kill that; level up.” This game doesn’t do that at all. There are no levels, only prestige and the Ascension Atlas.
Prestige grows whenever you acquire better gear, unlock new classes, abilities, talents and etc. The higher your prestige is, the higher the difficulty, but also higher the rewards, which is a lovely bonus if you can handle the increase in difficulty.
More importantly though is the Ascension Atlas. This is essentially your way of upgrading your character, without putting new gear on them. It’s an interesting system where you follow a set of nodes, with each node you unlock it increases a stat by a certain amount permanently, or you may even unlock a new ability, talent, or better yet, a class. Obviously this isn’t free, and these new upgrades will cost a certain something: a resource that can be acquired by doing questing, which I’ll get in to right now.
Well, I say it’s questing, but I’m not quite sure. You see, the game isn’t open world, and instead your missions are instances which you’ll teleport to once you’ve accepted them. Once you’ve been ported to the mission area, it will give you a number of things, or just one that they would like for you to accomplish before you leave. If you manage to do them, you get your reward, which is generally a resource which can be used for the Ascension Atlas.
What I like about this game’s questing system is the fact the missions will change, and vary themselves as time goes on. A mission won’t stay there forever and will eventually disappear, which I enjoy for the reason that it makes you feel a little less like you’re following a quest-line that you don’t really care for, when all you really want is the loot that came with it. Which is exactly what I’ve been doing, as prior to you accepting the mission, it will say the rewards. If those rewards have something you particularly want, like a resource to finally get that new ability you’ve been wanting from a node, then you go out and do it! It’s a system I like, and instead of walking for miles upon end to get to one quest, the game will just take you right to it.
In conclusion, the game has its pros and cons, some of the cons being the fact that although the armor may look good on your character, it is only visual. You can wear big and bulky armor, and it will give you no stats in anything, regardless of whether you’re wearing that or a suit. It’s a shame that the armor in the game is purely visual.
Also, all the missions are done within instances and are not open world. You don’t get to explore, which is a shame because the game world really does look pretty stunning, and warrants a little more attention. I expect this can get a little repetitive over time.
So far from what I’ve seen in the game, the pros vastly outweigh the cons. The game looks, and feels great. The level up system is very good for an MMO. That, and the fact you can switch out classes at any time for your character is easily a giant positive. Not being stuck with a class is a wonderful feeling, especially when you’re feeling like being a tank one day, or a healer the next, you can do as you please.
Overall, the game is very nicely designed. If you are on the lookout for a good new free MMORPG, do yourself a favor, and try the game out. The unique nature of this game should have you sticking around for some time; I know it’s already done so for me.