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First of all this is going to be a Mammoth Post. Please dont bother replying if you first of all cant be bothered to read it. I know it's probably going to be a total waste of time and the thread will probably either go into 'Spellborn Sux' territory or no-one will give half a shit and not even bother reading it.
My main intention here is to see if we can get some interest in the game - maybe get some people in game and start a guild up?
I've been a massive fan of this game since the first time i heard about it. I've played the game from its rough CB and onwards through paid release. I thought i'd make a post to see if we could get some people to start to play the game and maybe find out why people havn't played it or maybe tried it but didnt like it (see Poll).
History of Spellborn
Spellborn has had a very rocky past, and it's this that i think has hurt it's chances of success more than anything. Back before Beta the official forums were buzzing with excitement at the prospect of an MMO with a unique art style and a twitch based fps style combat style. Initial Beta's were very rough and evidently they had issues getting the combat system working smoothly. Things gradually got better
Coming out of Beta the developers announced they had made 2 seperate publishing deals with Acclaim and Frogster for the US and EU respectively. This announcement to split the community in 2 really left a sour taste in the mouths of many. Guilds were split up, friends were no longer able to play together. There wasn't even the choice of community to join as they implemented ip bans. Many people lost interest in the game and left for good.
Eventually they listened to the remains of the community and ip bans were lifted and servers from both communities merged. Things were looking up with some great updates - Demon Chest was introduced, a Tutorial added and a redesign of the starter zone to help people learn the systems better were all added.
Though alas these things seemed like too little too late - the community was already small and dwindling daily. Friends were logging off never to be seen again and less and less people were seen in the game. Such a Shame... In the right hands this game (should) could have been massive.
The game is currently under a redevelopment by Frogster who are apparantly adding a Cash shop to the game. There has been no news on this for quite a while though as such the game is in a froze state with no updates in the near future - until Frogster take the reigns
What is Spellborn?
Spellborn is an MMO, it has quests, it has monsters to kill, it has instances etc, all like any other MMO. Having said that it is a very different experience to ALL the other clones out there. I often see posts in the LFG forum from people asking for a game with :-
Spellborn has all these features and it's completely Free to play.
While the game is in a frozen state dont let this put you off trying it - the game is fully playable and has a max level of 50. Which will take a while to reach. There are occasional bugs and some of the quests cannot be completed but this is rare and doesn't effect game progress at all.
What's so Unique about the combat system?
The combat system in Spellborn is based around the Skilldeck system. Skills in Spellborn have to be aimed as in an FPS, Range has to be taken into consideration also. If for example your aim is off when shooting an arrow, you'll miss, its as simple as that, there's no dice rolls that determine a hit.
You assign skills to the skilldeck similar to assigning skills in Guildwars. This can be edited at any time in Spellborn though as long as you dont have your weapon drawn. Initially you can assign 9 skills in a 3x3 matrix but this expands as you level up eventually allowing 30 skills to be set up in a 5x6 matrix.
Consideration has to be taken when assigning the skills - you will only have access to 5 at a time, you must select one of the 5 visible skills and the deck will then rotate to the next row and so on until it rotates back to the first row. Strategy is involved here as combos can eventually be achieved with special starter and finishing moves all the while being aware of cooldowns as the skills are used and the rows rotate.
You use the Mouse Wheel to scroll through available skills on the row and once selected the deck rotates to the next row. All the while Aiming and moving your character to avoid attacks.
It is completely different to any other MMO combat system and is incredibly satisfying once mastered.
Here's a Video of a Developer Demoing Combat before Release - Here
So What about PVP?
PVP in Spellborn is Based on 5 High Houses (Factions). At lvl 9 you can begin a quest to join one of them.
Until you join a Faction you are impervious to PVP unless you go to the Mosh Pit area in the starter zone. Once you join a faction pretty much everywhere (outside of the first 2 zones) are Faction based PVP.
There's also a unique PVP system in the game called Demon Chest. There's a Hidden chamber which only opens up once a day and inside there's the Demon Chest. The chest requires 3 keys to open. The keys have to be found and are rare drops from certain enemies. The twist here is that the keys are lootable if you are killed by another player.
Ok - Can i make Stuff?
Yes Spellborn does have a crafting system. There are no levels in the crafting system and it works like this.
While fighting an enemy may drop a broken item. You then take the broken item to the Forge where it can then be changed into a Recipe. The Recipe will contain the instructions and say what materials are required. Once you have the required materials you can make the item at the forge. Each Recipe is single use - so even if you've made the item once you'll need to find the recipe again to make it again.
Sounds Good - but Why aren't people playing it?
Who knows? I have a few theories and it would be interesting to find out with the Poll.
I Want to give it a try - where can i get it?
While it's real good of Acclaim to leave the servers running while the games in redevelopment it would be even nicer of them to host a working download but unfortunately this isn't the case
You can find a working Client Download Here
There's also a working Torrent with working Gameguard fix for Windows 7 folk (Thanks Fobar) Here
After installing it will patch up ok but may take some time so You can get the Patches and apply them manually from Here
I've found that one of the patches in the above Archive may be corrupt - though im not sure if it was a duff download on my behalf if you cant get it to run you'll need this one too from Here (Ensure to remove the _ from the .exe extension of this file to run it!)
Some Screenshots and Movies!
Here are some of my Own Screenshots from Spellborn :-
And Finally a couple of Great Youtube Movies that capture the atmosphere of the game perfectly :-
I hope this has maybe piqued your interest into giving the game a go. If anyone decdes to give the game a chance and is interested in forming a guild in the game please let me know below. It'd be awesome to actually see some people playing the game.
To those who have actually read the whole thing - thanks for your time. This was the 3rd draft of this after accidentally navigating away from the page half way through while typing it - that was frustrating!
Well my fingertips are bleeding from typing so much so im gonna leave it there.