Skyforge is an interesting anomaly. Touted as a AAA MMO, before I got bored I’d never heard of it. So what’s up with Skyforge?
Developed by Allods Team in collaboration with Obsidian Entertainment, this game is published by my.com. If any of the names don’t sound familiar to you, here are their reasons why they should or should not:
- Allods Team developed Allods Online, a game that has a ‘nefarious’ reputation of being a World of Warcraft rip-off. Personally I’d given that game a try a few years back and I’m inclined to agree with that sentiment.
- Obsidian Entertainment developed KOTOR2, FO:NV, Pillars of Eternity, NWN2, South Park, Alpha Protocol, and Armored Warfare. Of the first few, they should be familiar with most gamers. Armored Warfare, along with Skyforge, makes it one of their first forays into MMOs.
- My.com is a Russian publisher, under the parent company Mail.ru. Thanks to Allods Online I’m familiar with them, but generally they don’t really have the same presence as say Trion, NCSoft, or Nexon
Skyforge, not to be confused with the useless forge in Skyrim, is a free-to-play third-person action-MMORPG. Its main draw is its ‘one character, all classes’ approach. Every account will only have one character, that at any point in time you can change yourself into any of the currently available 13 classes.
The game handles this through the Ascension Atlas, a Path of Exile styled skill-constellation system. By unlocking more nodes, you character gains access to more classes, abilities, stats, talents, and passives.
You start the game with immediate access to 3 beginner classes: Cryomancer, Lightbinder, and Paladin. These classes while simple to pick up, are still viable to a certain degree at end game.
This is not an open-world game, although it does have some open-world elements.
Equipment and appearances are separated. You can change your looks at any time without affecting your character’s performance.
The game features a premium status. Interestingly, this does not affect your account in any way if you’re just starting the game. It is however still able to make a notable difference in character progression rate, especially if you’re a min-maxer and want to get the best in slots in the fastest time possible.
This is first and foremost a first impressions post, so I will not be going any further in depth of the game system and mechanics. Additionally, as I am still restricted to a lousy laptop, there isn’t any videos of the current state of the game in this post either. You can look forward to it soon™ (as well as a video for Grim Dawn).
So enough about the boring parts of the game. Time for the part about me, myself, and my first impressions.
I chanced upon this game while being bored and running through the MMORPG list on mmorpg.com. The main web site http://www.skyforge.com/ seemed interesting enough, so I decided why the heck not.
After grabbing the installer, I was met with the first annoying issue (a pet peeve of mine): the game had to be installed through a standalone my.com launcher. In effect, the download was merely a download for the my.com launcher. Okay, fine. I think I can live with that.
The second issue cropped up almost immediately. Somehow, I’m unable to install this game into the default Program Files folder for windows. Instead, it had to be installed into anywhere that did not require administrative permissions, with the default being your system drive (for my case, the path ended up being C://MyGames/Skyforge MyCom). Deciding that I was definitely bored enough to overlook this as well, I went ahead with the installation.
At the very least, the launcher seems useful. and looks pretty decent.
Regions available currently are only NA and EU (I chose NA).
On first launch, the game surprised me with actually requesting for me to do some settings. Plus one for first impressions.
Not the original landing screen I first got, since I forgot to grab a screenshot. Nonetheless, it’s almost exactly the same, except for your first time booting up the game, there’s a caveat telling you that hitting spacebar indicates your agreement to the EULA.
Straight away, I was thrown into a character select screen. Following screen-grabs detail the level of customisation available.
Overall, pretty damn impressive for a free-to-play game. Another plus one for first impressions.
After a short cutscene, you finally get your first control over your character. The UI seemed plain at first, but after progressing further into the game, it can get a little bit more cluttered as more things are unlocked. Before I continued though, settings first!
Once again, decent enough. Though I was expecting a wee bit more settings for things like UI scale. Nonetheless, it did not disappoint.
The almighty spacebar. Be forewarned, using the spacebar to skip dialogue as the NPCs are talking (dialogues are voiced!) skips the whole conversation instead of just the scene. Good for those who don’t plan to read or listen to anything, but bad if you have a habit of speed-reading and then jumping to the next scene. Additionally, because this game slowly reveals the features to you at a very pleasant pace, alot of the features are explained pretty well in conversations too. So don’t be too quick with the spacebar, lest you find yourself spending time googling for guides.
Completing my first quest. The game has a strange habit of getting you to accept every quest completion. Cue the debate, but I personally got used to it after an hour into the game and kind of liked it, as I get to see quite clearly my quest rewards.
A training room is provided, and later on when you eventually unlock access to more classes, this place will be key to practicing and getting a first look at the other classes without needing you to commit before hand! Additionally, it does indeed train you in the basics of each class, guiding you through their initial combos and abilities. Another amazing part is that completing the training for each of the class awards you with the class costume, granting you free access to more customisation of your character’s style. Neat!
The game also features log in rewards. Pretty standard fare for inspiring loyalty to the game.
Equipment screen. If you have gear in your bag that is better than your currently equipped gear, a red arrow pointing downwards will be shown on the bottom right corner of the equipment slot. Once again, a very nice QOL feature, that combined with allowing you to change your equipment from this screen without needing to go to your bag screen, is pretty well done (at this point of the screenshot I have yet to unlock my bag, hence its lack of appearance as a tab in the menu). Another plus one for first impressions.
The game centres itself around building prestige. The more classes, skills, talents, and better equipment you unlock, the more prestige you have. More importantly, they provide a nice page to let you know what you can look forward to as you gain more prestige.
A central hub place that grants you access to events. If you’ve played Warframe, you should be very familiar with this concept.
Instanced dungeons allow you to solo or to group up to perform the quest for it. Additionally, there are some persistent ‘open’ locations where players fight alongside other players to clear quests normally as you would in an open-world MMORPG. It’s an interesting blend of instanced dungeon style and open-world. Quests reward you usually with shards. These shards contribute towards your unlocking of skills, talents, and classes. Most instanced dungeons have their shard rewards rotated every 40 minutes. There are special limited-time availability instance dungeons as well, with pretty decent rewards.
The bulk of the game lies in the Ascension Atlas. Think of it as a simplified Path of Exile system, except that to counter the simplicity, there are a total of 3 effective layers of the Atlas, with each layer requiring different types of shards as currency for progression.
To round up this first impression is the combat system. It’s a simplified aim-style combo system used in Tera. Complex classes have different skills that can only be accessed by performing the right combos. Simpler classes like the first three you are given access to just require you to watch your positioning as certain skills will animation lock you in place. Dodges are an expendable resource that replenish over time. The game is pretty action orientated.
All that said, my first impression of this game is pretty darn good. I’ve yet to feel any pangs of disappointment due to pay-to-win elements, which thus far I have yet to see any come into play. Definitely looking forward to clocking more hours into this game.
If you’re interested to find out more about the game, feel free to ping me on our GamerEdge Slack.
For reference, this first impressions was documented using Win 7 Enterprise 64 bit, i5-3230M, Intel HD 4000, 8gb RAM.