You’d be forgiven for thinking that I would have made up my mind about Tree of Savior after making it to character level 150, but I’m afraid that you’d be wrong. That’s partially a result of my indecision, I will contend, but it’s also because I’m still not entirely clear what motivates me to keep pushing forward – beyond following the Demands of the Almighty Poll, of course.
I know for a fact that it’s absolutely not the story, which I’ve said a number of times. I’m also not sure it’s because of the visuals, as pretty as this game is. Perhaps it’s because of the Wizard class in general, but maybe there’s that whole pachinko machine effect I had mentioned in an earlier column to consider as well.
Before I really try and digest this whole thing, I’ll first recount my journey to this point, which did sort of see the class levels begin to slow down somewhat. I guess that shouldn’t have been too much of a surprise moving from the 30s to the requisite class level 45, but it also was very noticeable considering the otherwise colorful explosions of hitting levels on nearly every quest completion – a point toward that pachinko effect.
Then there was the point where enemy HP pools started to continue to ramp up. Even as my character level was about 10 to 20 numbers north of enemies, I was still having to saw through a whole lot more health on nearly every encounter, meaning the earlier rotations I had devised had to be adjusted. In fact, I actually had to use more than two abilities on bosses and even died to one because I got lackadaisical. Score one point for the Wizard class gameplay hook.
Even so, I never really felt as if I were challenged all too much. Even when I started applying the attribute points as polling instructed, there wasn’t much of an advantage in combat. It’s entirely possible that the increments in power provided by spending attribute points was the difference between slow victory and somewhat slower victory, but it’s really hard for me to tell, if I’m honest.
Still, it was nice to use those points vouchers and customize my character a bit. Plus, I now greatly appreciate why those vouchers come in 10,000 point bundles: The costs needed to really level up some of these spells gets pretty pricey.
By the end of it all, I did get through to class level 45 and picked the Chronomancer as you all suggested, and I have to say that this choice was really boring. (Sorry!) I had unlocked three spells – two of which I kind of used (Slow and Time Forward) and one that I didn’t really understand how to use (Reincarnate) – but ultimately I was more focused on using my existing Wizard/Psychokino buttons. I presume that the Quick Cast and Backmasking abilities are the real purpose of choosing this third class, which makes sense from a utility standpoint but didn’t really make things interesting. I was hunting for interesting, really, and had hoped that some of the other buttons in the Chronomancer kit would intrigue.
That segues rather neatly into my earlier confusion about what kept me going through so many levels, so many barely engaging fights, and so many poorly localized story quests.
Earning character levels wasn’t really impactful as far as I could tell despite how frequently I dinged, and all it really meant was I had to stop to upgrade my Goddess gear once in a while and at one point the potions I had in my backpack were useless because I overleveled them; boy was that a mid-fight surprise. To that point, overall progression in terms of attribute point spend, equipment upgrading, and the occasional stats improvement didn’t really get me excited.
I also think that the Wizard class tree also isn’t quite as good as I had first assumed. Sure, being a little cannon of spell-based devastation was interesting, but after some time that proved to not really be a hook.
So what’s left? I think it ultimately comes down to curiosity. Yes, I was seeing lots of flashing level up lights and pushing buttons to make enemies erupt into chunks before they could hit me for the most part, but after a certain point those sort of became blase, leaving me to simply keep moving on to see what’s possibly next. What systems do I get access to? What sort of neat things do I maybe get to do? Is the word “revelation” going to be abused in the story quest text any harder?
Curiosity will take me only so far, though. The dopamine hit of leveling up begins to not be strong enough. The class gameplay can fall from discovery to routine after some time. 150 levels in and I don’t know what keeps Tree of Savior ticking. And perhaps I never will know. Unless I try another class, anyway.
That experiment is going to have to be something I do away from this column, however, as we’re now at the end of November and heading toward December. And that means, of course, that we’ve got to figure out where to go for our next weeks’ worth of adventures.
Once more I’m electing to get thematic with this poll’s choices and that theme is early access titles. I have plans to revisit the Progress Bar column idea considering how frequently this business model is used (in that I really should focus up), but for now I’ll be zeroing in on at least one of these EA titles. Perhaps more over the course of December if I feel there aren’t enough choices to warrant a poll. In any case, here’s what I’m pondering:
What game should I go to next? Choose My Early Access Adventure!
- Ilysia. Do some VR MMO gaming. (4%, 2 Votes)
- Arcane Waters. 16-bit piracy ahoy! (12%, 7 Votes)
- Fractured Online. Let's see where this sandbox sits. (30%, 17 Votes)
- Project Gorgon. Dig in deeper on this one. (35%, 20 Votes)
- Eco. Manage the globe with others. (19%, 11 Votes)
Total Voters: 57
As usual, polling will close at 1:00 p.m. EST on Friday, December 1st. For now, I might peek back in on TOS one time or two and see if perhaps I can answer the question of why I want to play. Or perhaps I’ll just stop overthinking it and move on with my life. Easier said than done, though.