Swords of Legends Online begins CBT 2 this week with faction PvP, English VO, and harder dungeons

    
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Easy sell.

As of 8:00 a.m. EDT today, the second closed beta test round for Swords of Legends Online kicked off, and there has been a wide swath of changes applied to this round. A number of new features are available for testing, while existing features have seen several tweaks.

One of the bigger additions is the introduction of faction PvP, with this beta build allowing players to side up with one of two different factions and then brawl it out in the new Valley of the Echoing Blades, where players can earn PvP rewards and faction points for taking on daily quests or region-specific activities.

Other changes in CBT 2 include the temporary removal of battlefields from the game, the addition of English voice acting, some adjustments to the leveling curve, and buffs to enemies in hard mode dungeons. On the subject of dungeons, the game plans to introduce raids to the game weeks after its launch this summer.

The devs held a livestream discussing CBT 2 yesterday, offering a look at these various changes. One Redditor provided a bullet list of adjustments that point out other updates, including note that faction PvP can happen outside of the Valley of Echoing Blades if players are properly flagged, word that players can switch factions every seven days, and confirmation of the game’s first battle pass arriving a couple of weeks after launch.

As for testing itself, that runs between now and Tuesday, June 8th, and is available either for those who have pre-ordered the game, those who previously received a beta access code, or for anyone who signs up at the website or via Steam.

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Ravven

I’m playing the second beta and overall I’m really enjoying it. The combat is a bit slow at low levels, but quickly turns into something a lot more fluid and engaging. The classes are interesting and it’s absolutely beautiful (and will be stunning once the graphic update to Unreal goes live). There’s a lot of story there. I very much dislike non-consensual pvp, but I’m really not worried as there are significant punishments for being a PK player. In BDO (where there wasn’t much of a downside to attacking other players) I only got attacked a handful of times, once during a grinding spot dispute and a few times while AFK levelling horses or fishing (cause griefing is all about attacking people who can’t fight back of course). The cash shop is entirely cosmetic. I am very much looking forward to launch.

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_a4

The thing with this game Swords of Legends Online, or SOLO, is that it’s so generic and boring, it’s not worth being B2P.

It’s like a Chinese version of ASTA, which was a Korean version of WoW. ASTA was OK for a F2P game, but SOLO is literally the same thing, but with a Chinese thematic.

1. It’s not real Wuxia.

2. The weapons of characters are straight out of Western High Fantasy.

3. The character classes archetypes are also if you took WoW’s classes and dressed them in Chinese clothes.

Jade Dynasty, Swordsman Online, Heroes of Three Kingdoms and Age of Wushu did a lot better job at depicting the Wuxia universe. Well, HoTK wasn’t exactly Wuxia, but it was the War of the Three Kingdoms, it has ancient Chinese weapons, which were the classes and it looked a lot more authentic.

I’d not pay for SOLO, ever. I think the game will be mediocre at best, Gameforge will see that there aren’t enough people interested in a cheap B2P Chinese clone of a Korean WoW clone (ASTA) of WoW and then they will start shoving P2W everywhere and it will end up like ArcheAge UnchaNGED – where they promise there will be no P2W, ever, but it ends up being as heavy P2W as the F2P version.

I’ve seen Gameforge’s games since 2008 when I first played Metin2 Online and Gamerforge don’t give two squirts of piss when it comes to P2W – they will push it to the limit.

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Bereman99

It’s not real Wuxia.

That’s because it’s Xianxia.

I’d imagine the other games did a better job of depicting Wuxia, cause that’s what they were intending to depict, where as this game is from a franchise (a successful one at that, apparently) that does not depict Wuxia.

Also, that’s a hefty stretch to say that the classes are just WoW classes with a Chinese skin. They really don’t play similarly at all.

Taking a quick Google look at ASTA…that game does indeed look and play like a Korean version of WoW.

SOLO doesn’t look OR play like either one of those. Closest Western game I can think of that has a playstyle like SOLO is honestly GW2.

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_a4

We will see. There have been surprisingly too many defenders and white knights for this game. Especially on Reddit /r/mmorpg/ there have been shills who created accounts just to spam-post about this game, which I find really odd.

The first beta on Steam only peaked at 7000 players and never reached that peak, the second beta only reached 5000 peak, but it was during a work week so there is a chance for that to improve. We will see on the long run how the game does, but for me it’s just too generic and mediocre to justify the asking price and I won’t give the money for it, ever. If I had excess money and I had to spend them on a video game and nothing else, I’d buy some other game, but never this one, it’s just not worth it in my opinion.

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Bereman99

We will see on the long run how the game does, but for me it’s just too generic and mediocre to justify the asking price and I won’t give the money for it, ever.

Which is a perfectly valid opinion to have, that it’s too generic for your tastes.

I just find it wild that you’d think it looks or plays anything like either ASTA Online or WoW.

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_a4

It does play like WoW, except that having a good tab-targeting combat, it has a floaty action combat like all the forgettable action combat MMOs (100% of them).

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Bereman99

You’re going to have to walk me through how having an action combat system instead of a tab-target system means that it plays like a game with a tab-target system.

Unless you’re trying to pair the two by comparing incredibly broad shared elements (that are shared with dozens of other MMOs), your claim just doesn’t work.

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Tristan Hagen

3. The character classes archetypes are also if you took WoW’s classes and dressed them in Chinese clothes.

I get you’re bitter about Gameforge but dude what

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_a4

One class has a scythe for weapon. I haven’t seen a game or a novel set in ancient China where someone uses a scythe as a weapon.

Another class uses a gigantic broadsword, also never seen in such media.

The healer class also uses a staff that looks nothing like a Chinese weapon, like they extracted an asset from WoW, or ESO or GW2 and implemented it in their game as-is.

If none of that strikes you as odd, then you haven’t played enough Chinese games or know much about other media like novels or animations. Or you just don’t pay enough attention to these things.

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Jo Watt

You are right. They should have came up with all new never before seen weapons. Not like every game out there ends up using popular weapon choices or anything, gotta be a WoW clone while we’re at it!

From what I have seen the game seems ok at best tbh. Nothing amazing. But I like a little variety in my games visually. Like how BDO has different visuals for all the towns and areas, I just feel although beautiful the games aesthetic will be too similar across the board.

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Bereman99

Outside of the housing, it is nothing amazing, just competent.

Good implementation of systems (the localization is catching up and is currently the weakest part), feels solid to play, good movement, nice looking and consistent aesthetic. Fairly expensive cosmetic stuff in the shop (about $35 for the most expensive costumes and associated hair) but foregoes selling boosts or inventory space or the usual convenience items and there’s more available in game that honestly look just as good. Won’t shake up the genre or anything.

Best housing system I’ve seen since Wildstar though. More than enough plots for everyone, totally in-game cost to obtain and keep, daily activities to get more stuff for your house, schematic system that lets you place a sort of guide for pieces down before you actually have the materials so you can plan, free form placement and some resizing.

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_a4

New weapons? Are you fresh to MMOs?

Asian MMOs have had Asian-themed weapons since around 2005, games like Twelve Sky, 9Dragons, Swordsman Online, Metin2, Silkroad Online, Perfect World, Jade Dynasty, Heroes of Three Kingdoms, Age of Wushu… where have you been all these time?! Some of these games came and went, others are still around.

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Bereman99

Can I just point out the hilarity of calling out someone else for not having “played enough Chinese games or know much about other media” while also not knowing the difference between Xianxia and Wuxia?

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rk70534

Short scythes are weapons that were really used in ancient China from the Neolithic onwards, but they had (largely) dropped out of use after the Han dynasty.

Zulika Mi-Nam
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Zulika Mi-Nam

While I played a bit in the last beta test, but…

after finding out about the Rampage mechanic (which is similar to BDO) in that once you reach max level anyone else at max level can decide to pk you without you opting in to PVP

…I am done with this game.

That’s the one reason I do not play BDO anymore too.

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Bereman99

To be honest, I wouldn’t worry much about the Rampage mechanic, unless you’re 100% against even a slim chance of being attacked when not flagged.

It’s got one helluva punishment system behind it, unlike the relatively milquetoast punishments you’d find in BDO.

So yes, a player can activate Rampage mode, which does allow them to attack other players that are also max level if that’s their jam. That’s kind of where the “benefits” for the player doing the attacking end.

Once activated, you start going toward a “Negative Qi” status. You don’t need to do any attacking – just having it activated pushes you toward the negative. Attacking and killing other players while it is active adds an additional penalty shift toward being in negative (what the game also calls Evil Qi) status.

Once you’re in the negatives, you get a debuff that stuns you every 20 seconds or so, and does a 1k damage hit as well. This debuff has no timer, and from what I’ve seen and heard on the beta it’s very, very difficult to remove the debuff via doing things that give you positive, or good, Qi points. To the point where those with the negative Qi status described not being able to find anything that did.

It also apparently only took about 5 minutes to reach that negative status as well…not a lot of time.

Now, once a player dies with the negative Qi status, they get tossed in player jail…where sentences can last up to 7-8 hours of being actively logged into the character but not doing anything, or as “low” as 2-3 hours of mindless carrying heavy glowing rocks from the basement. You can’t switch to a different character or wait out your sentence while offline either, and while you can technically escape from the jail once you’re caught again it adds the time to your previous sentence.

Furthermore, if you as a player are attacked by someone in Rampage mode you can set a bounty on them (it uses your own gold) and other players can take on these bounties to hunt the PKer down.

And there are no game-based rewards for using the Rampage system. If someone wants to stir up trouble, they can, but 5 minutes of trouble leading to 3-7 hours of jail time? I’d be shocked if most who generally PK find that trade worth it.

Mix this rather harsh punishment system with the fact that we’re getting the faction PvP earlier than originally planned for the NA/EU launch (which allows for intentional flagging up for PvP and engaging enemies who are also flagged from the opposite faction, and fighting them with no penalties while also earning rewards)…while the game does technically allow another player to kill you if you are both at max level, it also heavily, heavily discourages doing so when not using the Faction flagged up system.

While it will exist, I’d be surprised if it happens much – certainly not to the degree that is seen in other games that have a similar system.

The reactions I’ve been seeing to this are basically “PKing isn’t worth it” and/or PKers basically begging for them to ease up on the punishment system…which means it’s working as intended. And based on the stream yesterday, their comments seem to suggest that while they will be watching the Rampage system carefully during beta and following launch, that changes would be aimed reducing PK if it’s still proving to be too disruptive.

Zulika Mi-Nam
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Zulika Mi-Nam

Do not care one bit how it affects someone else.

I do not think the publisher has much control on this project…..and I do not trust them since their FAQ still indicates that PVP is only opt-in.

and while I can understand why some would be hype about the game…..for me…..meh.

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Bereman99

Well in this case how it affects someone else directly impacts you, as how it affects them would increase or decrease (and in this case, decrease) the likelihood of them engaging in the gameplay behavior you don’t like.

Hey, I figured since you said it was the reason you stopped playing BDO that I’d point out the ways it doesn’t work like BDO.

But you seem to be the 100% against it on principle, rather than based on how it works out mechanically or how much it actually impacts your experience in practice.

So the explanation of how it works is then useless to you, but hey if other readers are curious and/or worried then my explanation will at least be of some use.

Zulika Mi-Nam
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Zulika Mi-Nam

No problem, bud. I did all that research before I refunded.

Everyone will do their own pros/cons & give/takes.

I have learned that when someone shows me that they are lying/deceptive to believe them immediately, without question, and this publisher has done just that. -this is the biggest con on my list.

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Bruno Brito

Good explanation but honestly, players judging players never end well, and the game giving you the possibility to grief even if it punishes you is a terrible idea.

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Bereman99

Players don’t judge players in this one, the game does. All elements of the punishment system are handled automatically, unlike games like ArcheAge.

You use the Rampage skill, it generates negative Qi, if your total Qi goes into the negatives you get the debuff, likely the PKer will die at this point before getting back into the positives, they are tossed in jail. All handled by the system.

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Robert Mann

PKers will just grind or buy high level accounts to grief with. It might not be as common as a result, but we’ve seen stuff before…

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Bereman99

I’m sure someone will try it, but it’s such a punishing system – approximately 5 or so minutes of PKing while using the Rampage mode is enough to land you in jail, and that’s from only winning 2 out of 6 ganks (you can get your butt kicked every time and still end up in the jail) followed by 3-7 hours (depending on if you want to manually lower the sentence) of staying logged in on said character…per character?

They’d have to buy so many accounts to keep up a constant stream of PKing that it’d become ridiculous pretty quickly, and when they stop buying new accounts they’d still have to get those characters out eventually.

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_a4

It was simple – WoW had and still has PvE servers. It works simple and effective – PvP is only allowed in certain areas – battlegrounds, arenas or if a person specifically flags themselves for PvP and unless another person of the opposite faction does that, they can’t really fight. I’ve personally stumbled upon an exploit where I played Night Elf Hunter on a PvE server and met an Undead Mage, I don’t remember why I flagged myself for PvP, probably to see if I can attack him, I couldn’t, but while flagged for PvP, I accidentally entered the range of his AoE abilities and that ended up automatically flagging him for PvP too and I attacked him… this can be the only way to “cheat” the system, but other than that, if people don’t want to participate in PvP, they’re in the clear.

If this game can’t do that in 2021, when some MMORPG players just outright can’t be bothered to deal with PvP, then it means the game and the people behind it aren’t assessing the market properly and it will cost them dearly later on.

Even New World started out as some PvP gankbox, but when 99.99% of the players said they won’t touch the game if it’s like that, Amazon quickly backtracked and turned it into a PvE game with quests and stuff. It goes to show that listening to your largest audience is the best if you want a successful game.

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Bereman99

Well, the implicit acknowledgment a player is giving when they decided to play and stick with this game is that they are okay with the PvP possibly happening to them at a time they did not plan.

I’m just pointing out that, unlike the usual gankboxes or even games that have a “PvP occurs past a certain level, punishments if not flagged” that this one has really severe punishments for attacking those that aren’t flagged for Faction PvP. Severe enough that comparing it to experiences in games like BDO or ArcheAge doesn’t really work.

So it’s not a case of “If this game can’t do that in 2021” it’s that they are choosing not to, and you the player have the freedom to say “nah fam, 100% against any form of PK at any time and in any amount” or decide that – like me – you like enough of the rest of the systems and find the deterrent to PKing to be sufficient enough that you’re not worried about it happening nearly often enough to be a detriment.

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Jo Watt

This is how I see it. Ganking tends to rarely happen anyways. If this system is very harsh, though it will still happen regardless, then it should be even less in SOLO.

If you find 99% of the game fun and have a blast doing it.. let’s say you play about 2-3 hours a day. Max 21 hours a week. If you got PKd say twice, doesn’t sound like you lose anything here but maybe a minute or two of traveling. You are passing on 20hrs 56 mins of weekly fun because of being worried about a few ganks that may not even happen.

I mean you can be griefed for far more time in PvE sometimes with people trolling in dungeons or raids which can cost hours.

But everyone has their lines. I just try to see if I gain more than lose when playing something new.