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Interesting game mechanics

QuizzicalQuizzical Member LegendaryPosts: 21,300
This site's official review really didn't say much about the game, beyond the author's subjective impressions.  But it has some interesting mechanics that I've rarely or never seen before that I'd like to highlight here.

1)  It's tab-targeting combat in which you hardly ever use tab to target mobs.

The time to kill mobs is extremely fast.  The only other MMORPG that comes to mind as having a time to kill in the same ballpark is Champions Online.  So having to tab select everything would only slow you down.  Rather, you face in the general direction of mobs, attack, and the game picks the nearest mob in front of you as the target.  It's usually better to just blast away and just kill something than to try to be more discerning in your targets.  That gives the combat a feel more akin to non-tab-targeting games like Neverwinter or Spiral Knights than a tab-target game like WoW or Guild Wars.

2)  You're usually massively outnumbered by mobs much weaker than you.

This is probably related to (1), and again, Champions Online is the nearest comparable here.  I've long thought that a big group of players wearing down some huge mob over the course of five minutes made you feel like much less of a hero than blazing a trail through weaker mobs.  Champions Online does the latter, too, but Tree of Savior goes further.  It's pretty easy to get ten mobs coming after you at once without trying to, and still kill them all without too much trouble.

3)  Mobs seem to "respawn" in waves really fast until they don't.

You've probably seen some games that had quests where you have to hold out against several waves of mobs.  Once you clear one wave, or perhaps just most of one wave, the next wave spawns.  After a while, you've killed all of the waves of mobs and then the area is safe.  But not all of the mobs spawn right at the start, as that would overwhelm you.  In Tree of Savior, a large chunk of the game is like that, not just a few special quests.  It first, it seems like instant respawn mobs are unmanageable, but keep killing them for a while and they eventually thin out and stop respawning for a while.

4)  Mobs take a long time to aggro, so if you want to run past, you can, and safely.

If you're at one end of the map and want to run to the other, and there are a hundred mobs in your path, you can probably get all the way through without getting touched unless you stumble on terrain.  That said, if you run back and forth or in circles, you can get 20 mobs coming after you, and they can kill you even if you keep moving.

5)  Action combat based much more heavily on moving out of the way than aiming.

The tab target thing often eliminates the need to aim, but that doesn't mean it's safe to stand there and trade shots with mobs.  Keep moving and get out of their way and you can kill most mobs without taking damage.  Well, you can one-shot a lot of mobs, but I mean you can often clear a group of 10 mobs without taking damage.  Try to stand there and trade shots and you can expect to get hit often and hard.  The only real comparable I have for this is Spiral Knights.

6)  You have enormous carry capacity right from the start

The only comparable that comes to mind here is The Chronicles of Spellborn.  At the start, you can carry up to 5000 weight, and it goes up from there.  Most items have 1 weight, though weapons and armors might have 50 or 100 weight or so.  But you can have your storage 20% full, then go kill mobs for an hour, then have this result in being 50% full.  You can do that without needing to buy bag space from the item mall.

7)  Any class can use cloth, leather, or plate--but there are advantages to picking one and sticking with it

Any class can equip any armor, and the different types of armor give different types of stats.  It's not like, say, WoW, where plate is better than leather, which is better than cloth.  But there are bonuses to going all cloth or all leather or whatever, and it's expensive to try to get the bonuses for all of the types.

Comments

  • QuizzicalQuizzical Member LegendaryPosts: 21,300
    8)  You change your class often as you level up

    I've never seen anything else remotely like the class circle system, so it deserves a longer explanation.  At the start, you pick your archetype:  archer, cleric, swordsman, or wizard.  That sounds completely generic, of course.  But sometime around level 15 (class levels are independent of main levels, but the same activities get you both types of experience), you get to switch class.  If you were an archer, you can become a ranger or a quarrel master, or you can become a circle 2 archer--a stronger version of the same class that you were before.  Higher rank classes are stronger than lower rank classes, but higher circle levels of lower rank classes offset that.

    Then around level 40, regardless of which class you chose at level 15, you can become a sapper, a hunter, or a higher circle of whatever you chose last time.  You can also pick a lower rank class if you prefer, though you gimp yourself by doing so.  For example, you could become a ranger at level 15 and then a quarrel shooter at level 40, or a circle 2 archer at level 40, but you shouldn't.  You can switch classes again around level 75, and in all, there are eight ranks of classes.  No class can go above circle 3, and the highest ranks can't go all the way up to circle 3, as the class base rank plus circle number can't exceed 9.

    When you switch classes, you keep your old skills, too.  Damage skills become pretty useless as you get newer, higher damaging skills, but some can remain useful once you're high level.

    9)  You can only level cap a few skills from each class

    In many games, there are a bunch of skills available, and you take all of them.  In Tree of Savior, you can't do that.  For example, as a circle 1 archer, there are 4 skills with 5 ranks each, but you only get 15 points.  You can cap three of the skills, or cap fewer in order to have gimpy versions of all four.  If you become a circle 2 archer, the 4 starting skills now get a max possible rank of 10, and there are two new skills with a max rank of 5, and you get an additional 15 points to level up archer skills.  So you could cap the three skills you chose before, or cap two of them plus one of the new skills, or whatever.  A circle 3 archer has one additional skill offered with a max rank of 5, while the previous skills have their max rank increased by 5.  The precise number of skills in each circle varies by class, but you generally have enough to get max rank in 3 skills.

    10)  Repeatable quests can only be repeated so many times

    The number can vary, but it's common for a repeatable quest to only be repeatable five times.  You often get a better reward for the last repeat of a quest.  Repeatable quests mostly aren't something I'm in favor of, but this is a different way to do it, at least.  Many (most?) quests aren't repeatable, of course.

    11)  Quest completion lets you warp back to the quest giver to turn it in

    If when you complete a quest, the quest icon on your quest log changes to indicate that it is done.  If the quest turn-in is at the NPC who gave you the quest (as it usually is, but not always), you can click the icon and warp to that NPC instantly and turn in the quest.  Tree of Savior is very much a fast travel game, and that's a nice touch so that you don't have to track down which quest came from which NPC.

    12)  The game scales automatically to arbitrary monitor resolutions

    I've been playing it at 4320x2560, and it's the first game I've seen that automatically scaled everything up to give you about the same experience and the same information on your screen regardless of your resolution.  Some games let you resize the UI to still look good at high resolution, but this is the first I've seen to do it automatically and still work correctly.

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    These aren't unique, but I have two other comments.  One is that, while it's a free to play game with an item mall, prices are pretty cheap.  The subscription for various bonuses is only $9/month.  Extra character slots (you get four free) are only $3 each.

    My other comment is that the game has quite a hitching problem.  Even at 4320x2560 and fairly high settings, I mostly get over 60 frames/second outside of towns.  But even when I'm getting 140 frames/second, there's still visible hitching.  At first, I thought they didn't cover up PCI Express data transfers very well, but the hitching is too regular for that, and still happens regularly even when nothing on the screen is moving except for text scrolling across the top of the screen.  It's somewhat annoying, but the game is still very playable.
  • TorvalTorval Member LegendaryPosts: 19,890
    Good write up of often glossed over features and problems.

    With regards to builds and progression I think it's very important to plan your character out using a build calculator. It can be frustrating to build a useless character and need to reroll.
    Fedora - A modern, free, and open source Operating System. https://getfedora.org/

    traveller, interloper, anomaly, iteration


  • QuizzicalQuizzical Member LegendaryPosts: 21,300
    I'll add a few more things:

    13)  Flashing mobs give enormous rewards.

    This isn't elite mobs that are massively stronger than all others.  Rather, a small percentage (perhaps 0.1%) of mobs flash white, red, or blue.  The mob otherwise fights normally, but upon killing it, you get massively greater rewards than normal--often greater than you'd get from killing a boss.  So if you keep an eye out and see a flashing mob not in combat (some skills can make mobs flash, which doesn't give the rewards), it's worth going out and killing that particular mob.

    14)  Gear level requirements are extremely discrete.

    As in many MMORPGs, your weapons and armors have level requirements to equip them.  A level 1 can't just equip the best gear in the game.  Unlike most MMORPGs, however, there are only a handful of possible level requirements.  For example, there is gear that requires level 40 or higher, and gear that requires level 75 or higher, but nothing in between.

    Thus, if you get something good at level 43, it's still going to be good all the way until you hit 75.  This is in stark contrast to how in many games, there is all sorts of intermediate gear levels, so that if you get something good that requires level 43, there's something slightly better that requires level 45, and something a little better yet that requires 48, and so forth.  That makes non-endgame gear become obsolete so fast that most people don't care much about it.  Tree of Savior tries to make it worth your while to get good gear all through the leveling process, as it won't be obsolete a few short levels later.

    15)  Gear potential

    Every weapon or armor starts with some amount of potential, such as 5.  Trading it to another player reduces the potential by 1, as does a failed attempt at upgrading it, or opening up gem sockets.  There are some other things that reduce potential, too.  You can no longer do any of the things that can reduce potential once it gets to 0, but you can still use the gear.

    This means, among other things, that you can use gear for a while, then sell it on the auction house once you've leveled past its usefulness.  But a given piece of gear can only be passed around this way so many times before it becomes untradeable for lack of potential.  Trying to enhance it up aggressively can burn through potential to reduce how much it can be traded or make it untradeable entirely.

    It's also notable that passing gear between the characters on a given account does not use up potential.  Thus, you can get some nice gear, then freely pass it back and forth between alts.

    16)  Irregular experience requirements to level

    As in most games with an experience system, it takes more experience to go from level 2 to level 3 than to go from level 1 to level 2, more to go from 3 to 4 than from 2 to 3, and so forth.  Unlike most MMORPGs, however, there are cliffs where the amount to gain the next level decreases dramatically.  Look at the requirements around levels 16, 46, 86, and 136, for example:

    http://www.tosbase.com/game/exp-tables/base/

    To go from 184 to 185 takes 5,264,032 experience.  To go from 185 to 186 takes 5,377,776.  But then to go from 186 to 187 only takes 220,800.  The earliest level that takes more than it costs to go from 185 to 186 is going from 209 to 210.  It actually takes considerably more experience to go from 185 to 186 than it does to go from 186 all the way to 191.

    I'm not sure why the did it this way.  The cliffs come somewhat after you hit a chance to equip gear at a new star level, which is also around the time you get the opportunity to switch to a new class.  But it's something I haven't seen done before.
  • CleffyCleffy Member RarePosts: 6,087
    You forgot one of the bestest mechanics. You can run around on a snow ball.

    I like the irregular level up requirements. In a game you hit the wall at higher levels as each level up is a monumental task. In this game they separate them out which makes the leveling process easier. In those cliffs you are excited to level because you are so close to a class change. Then when you crest the cliff you level up a bunch more since its easier than before. Variety is always a good way to keep the player interested.

    I also like the gear system. You have limits that you have to keep in mind which is good for balancing gear and picking how to approach gear upgrades.
  • BigRamboBigRambo Member UncommonPosts: 191
    such a long thread about a game that has more bot spammers than actual players, lol.  But having played 2.6 hours a few months ago, I'll give Tree Of Savior one thing and one thing only, that is exactly what Ragnarok 2 should have been with the Devs that created RO + the core mechanics of RO.  ToS being F2P and all, the same usual game breaking mechanics should be expected and game breaking it does quite well. Being able to max level in under a week without even trying, makes STO on launch day look more challenging, greedy cash shop (what else is new?), heavy dose of bot and yes I know every game has bots but ToS ratio of actual players Vs botters is off the charts. Now for those that never tried ToS and are thinking : "WOW this looks like Ragnarok but even better!!!"  trust me it isn't, I went in with the same mind set and flushed it after 2.6 hours, lol. I only wish though this was a juiced up version of Ragnarok, maybe some day?  If only this was a B2P/P2P maybe the mechanics would have been way better, but no amount of classes pumped in to it will make it any better. Quite a shame, because the gaming world is in desperate need of a RO sucessor. :o
  • RollieJoeRollieJoe Member UncommonPosts: 451
    I'll add to, the visual aesthetic is very appealing if you like that style, reminds me of a modern version of Final Fantasy III (US) graphics.  But yeah, as Rambo said, I've never seen so many bots in an MMO, and there's a reason it has a ~50% review score.  Shame such lovely artwork ended up in another Asian f2p cash shop grinder.
  • QuizzicalQuizzical Member LegendaryPosts: 21,300
    BigRambo said:
    such a long thread about a game that has more bot spammers than actual players, lol.  But having played 2.6 hours a few months ago, I'll give Tree Of Savior one thing and one thing only, that is exactly what Ragnarok 2 should have been with the Devs that created RO + the core mechanics of RO.  ToS being F2P and all, the same usual game breaking mechanics should be expected and game breaking it does quite well. Being able to max level in under a week without even trying, makes STO on launch day look more challenging, greedy cash shop (what else is new?), heavy dose of bot and yes I know every game has bots but ToS ratio of actual players Vs botters is off the charts. Now for those that never tried ToS and are thinking : "WOW this looks like Ragnarok but even better!!!"  trust me it isn't, I went in with the same mind set and flushed it after 2.6 hours, lol. I only wish though this was a juiced up version of Ragnarok, maybe some day?  If only this was a B2P/P2P maybe the mechanics would have been way better, but no amount of classes pumped in to it will make it any better. Quite a shame, because the gaming world is in desperate need of a RO sucessor. :o
    The only obvious bot spammers I've seen are by the goddess statues in Klaipeda and Orsha.  Other than that, I haven't seen any gold spammers, nor any obvious bots.  I have seen some keyboard mashing names of the sort that one might expect to be bots or otherwise disposable characters, but nothing other than the name looked suspicious.

    As cash shops go, Tree of Savior's is about as mild as they get.  Experience tomes could get expensive, but you seem to think leveling is too fast anyway, so you shouldn't complain about them selling that.  There's a $9/month subscription that does make a big difference, a few one time purchases that make a more modest difference, and not much else beyond cosmetics.
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