MMO Cartographer: A stroll through Eternal Magic, the Candy Crush of MMOs

    
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MMO Cartographer: A stroll through Eternal Magic, the Candy Crush of MMOs

I didn’t catch the first release of Eternal Magic, so the Steam release this past spring seemed like a good time to get into it. I guess everyone else thought the same thing because the world was pretty crowded at that point. Flash forward to now, and the crowd has thinned out a bit, but I was able to grab a random instance with strangers without a wait and I wasn’t alone in the game world, so it is still alive and kicking, and worth a stroll-through for this edition of MMO Cartographer.

I was pleased to see that none of the classes are gender-locked, but the character customization is limited to choosing from a small collection of faces, hairstyles, and hair colors. This wasn’t a dealbreaker for me, but it was disappointing to see in a 2019 release. The graphics aren’t cutting-edge, but I thought my character was attractive enough when I was done picking what I could pick. This is not a game with an option to be outright ugly anyway.

One of the things that struck me as a little odd is that you have the opportunity for a free name change between levels 14 and 30. I don’t have a problem with it; it’s just a weird offer that I haven’t seen in any other game. I guess that’s one way to overcome your newb reputation.

All characters go through the same tutorial arc, and it is every bit as interesting as those usually are, which is to say, not terribly. Especially the second or third time around. I can’t remember the story beats offhand: something, something, something, werewolves. I am probably getting a little jaded after playing so many games, though, so you might find it enjoyable. And hey, there are werewolves.

The game has autorun and areas connected by portals, which makes it hard to get a mental overview of how the world goes together. Or maybe that’s just me. I am not going to get on my soapbox here about what makes a game world feel like a world. You can probably figure out where I come down on that. The autorun is very convenient, though, when you aren’t paying attention to where you are at or where you are going. It is colorful and pretty, but I didn’t get a sense of it as a singular, continuous place.

The game gives you some free doodads to get you started and through questing, and before long, you and everyone else are running around with a cute bunny-girl pet. I thought that was nice. This isn’t to say that the game won’t try to get you to spend money. There are many opportunities to spend your hard-earned cash. For instance, you can either gather a large amount of in-game currency to start a guild, or you can just pay real money for it. That’s going to register at different places on the ick scale for different people.

Speaking of guilds, when I first tried the game out at the Steam launch, I found it pretty easy to join an open guild, but when I logged in again more recently, it had been disbanded for not paying some kind of upkeep. It seems likely to me that the cost of starting a guild and keeping it going works to keep the total number of guilds down to a relatively reasonable number. As much as I love small and weird novelty guilds, there’s something to be said for not watering down the community with too many of them.

My first character was a gunslinger. I have until recently avoided gun-centric classes. I don’t have a logical reason for that since I was perfectly willing to play archers and casters, which when you get beyond the aesthetics are essentially the same thing. I would say that it is just a case of “I don’t want guns in my fantasy,” except that I played a hunter in WoW. At the end of the day, it probably has something to do with the anime-ness of the gunslingers in various games. (No, anime-ness is not a word. Or it wasn’t until I made it up just now.) The thing is, they usually do look pretty cool and usually do decent DPS, so in conclusion, I was just dumb for not playing them much before now. This version was fun, too, for exactly all the reasons that playing DPS is fun. I found myself at level 29 by the end of my first play session, between questing and instances.

My second character was a priest. Again, not a class I usually gravitate toward. It was also quick to level, though, and I felt much more useful in instances being able to heal people a little bit when I was the lowest level player there. For a healer, it is also quite easy to level up solo through questing, plus the boosts from the instances I popped into.

I tried a few other classes, just to see what they were like, and I didn’t have any particular complaints about how any of them played. I don’t even remember what the storyline was, other than being directed to kill bad guys here and giant spiders over there. It’s not that the game is bad as such; it just doesn’t have anything outstanding or remarkable in it. It is basic. It’s good filler if you’re waiting for something and just want a little mindless gaming. It’s the Candy Crush of MMOs.

This is where someone pops into the comments and says that I played only to level 30 or so and it gets much better later on. Buddy, that’s a losing argument. I know because I keep trying to persuade people to play Black Desert Online with me, assuring them that the game starts at level 50. Nobody wants to stick around for that. If you don’t have anything to hook people in the first 10 levels, give or take, you’re going to have a lot of pass-through traffic.

Let me just sum it up this way: Should you play Eternal Magic? Sure. Why not? It’s free to give it a try. But for the vast majority of Massively OP readers, a crowd that generally has a great deal of MMO experience and higher expectations, it is probably a little thin to be anything more than a time killer between other games.

P.S. Because it seems worth mentioning, sometimes the game’s security software kicks you to desktop because it thinks your computer might have a virus it probably doesn’t have. Don’t panic.

Every other weekend, Massively OP’s Mia DeSanzo opens up her satchel of maps and decides where to go next in MMO Cartographer, Massively OP’s journey through MMO worlds, be they old or new, ordinary or unusual, or well-loved or long-forgotten. Expect the eclectic!

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Zero_1_Zerum

Isn’t that the game that’s infamous for ripping off WOW?

I don’t even like WOW, so I’ve even less interest in this game because it ripped it off.

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memitim

I played this for a few days after seeing one of those car crash videos about it on youtube….
It’s not what I’d call a great game by any stretch and it has many assets lifted directly from other games with minor changes made so they can say “That’s totally not the turtle model from WoW, look see his head is different!”
and of course it’s pay-to-win trash but there are actually some good ideas here underneath that stuff, notably level up challenges you have to complete that teach you boss mechanics and the finer points of your class with actual explanations that aren’t “go watch a guide on youtube” I’ve seen this before but it’s particularly well done here, unlike the translation where many abilities/buffs have 3 different names for the same thing. >.<
I also chose the gunslinger and dpsing felt pretty good, the rotation was fun and the animations are snappy and on point and I enjoyed the brisk leveling pace.

I'll likely never play this again but it was an interesting diversion for those few days, technically I played it longer than some other games who I won't name to save their embarrassment.

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Castagere Shaikura

I had fun playing it. It got a lot of flack over the Wow music files it used. But the gameplay is fun. A good casual MMO for those not looking for something deep. And yeah a lot of people play it. The city hub gets laggy at peek times.

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Greaterdivinity

OH RIGHT, I actually haven’t checked this one out yet. This was the one accused of ripping off assets from other games and that had that cringy contest about “pretty girls” right?

I mean, that’s all kinda bad, but honestly it seems kinda like the MMO junk food that I periodically like to binge on for brief periods before getting sick and never playing it again.

That horse picture…sidesaddle is my jam, but hot damn does it look like they ripped off both some Tera and Aion assets in that one, or were at least “heavily influenced by”.

Oh well, I’ve got more time since I dropped PoE from my rotation so rather than spend that in GAMES I HAVE TOTALLY BEEN MEANING TO PLAY I guess I’ll add this in for the time being. With autorun to quests etc., this is totally a good “I’m working/doing other things but I can tinker around with this on the side as well”.

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I don’t know about Aion or Tera, as I never played them much, but I’ve played a lot of WoW… A LOT (25K+ hours since 2006) and the moment I entered the game, I already noticed many things ripped straight from WoW.

The starting zone’s music is the one from Westfall.
The sounds of the UI – buttons, Map, Inventory, Friends are ripped from WoW.
The capital city’s style and music are like Stormwind City.
The sounds of boars are from WoW, the sounds of spiders are from the Scorpids from WoW.
In the starting zone there is a gate that separates a small portion of the zone from the rest like how Northshire Valley is separate from the rest of Elwynn Forest with a wall, and the wall in Eternal Magic even has the same layout and design.

There is a mob from the game:comment image
That looks like an Ancient Protector from WoW:comment image

There may have been more ripoffs, but I haven’t seen them.

Personally, I would’ve been totally OK with the game if they didn’t rip off blatantly other games. I’ve played so many F2P Chinese MMOs over the years and no matter how bad, boring and mediocre they were, at least they had the decency to create their own unique assets instead of stealing them or copying them to be 90% identical to the original.

That’s the part that riles me up the most about the game. Obviously the zones they created and the story, despite how generic were not that hard to come up with, so why did they have to blatantly rip off many other things instead of making their own?! I’d be much happier with crappy sounds, crappy models and stupid designs than feeling like I’m playing a Chinese bootleg WoW when I can play the real WOW, it’s just an insult to gamers. It’s like they expect people to be so clueless as to not be able to notice all the plagiarism they’ve done.

I’ve even seen people on the Steam forums in discussions about this plagiarism, who haven’t played WoW and the other plagiarized MMOs and they are literally happy and don’t care since they haven’t played it… It’s kinda sad really.

The gameplay is not bad, but another big problem for me was that leveling up is really fast, I reached like level 40 in about 2 hours of playing with just doing quests in the starting zone, that’s mobile level of bad.

At first I was excited about the game, back when there were only a few images of the game and it gave me that feel of Forsaken World. I really loved that game in 2011 (I think) when PWE launched it, but later ruined it. So I hoped at the time that Eternal Magic will fill the void left by Forsaken World for me, but I was wrong.

In the end, I would’ve forgiven the game and developers and might’ve even spent 30-40 hours on it, given it a good review and moved on, but I simply can’t look past this plagiarism.

What’s worse is the staff were at one point deleting all discussions related to the plagiarism on Steam and their official forums.

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Robert Mann

Just the natural evolution of games on mobile and facebook doing this for years and not getting hammered over it. China doesn’t care, other nations haven’t stepped up to force China to care… so it continues.

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memitim

that had that cringy contest about “pretty girls” right?

It’s most “popular” girl actually :D There’s a statue of her in the main city and she has special doodads around her name and fancy particle effects on her character….this is like a “thing” in the east and I suspect they have no concept at all about how cringy it comes off as to us….