Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Eden Eternal: Searching for a Cutesy Game to Fiddle Around In

Launching a fireball with my mage
Fireball, goooooo!

Usually when playing an MMO I go for something with fairly realistic graphics. Stuff like WoW, Guild Wars, Lord of the Rings, and such have received the majority of my time. However, for the last little while I've had a hankering for something a lot more cartoon-y in the aesthetics department. The change of pace would be nice, I figure, as they seem to be such a carefree environment with a much more Saturday morning cartoon feel to them. So, I've gotten to fiddling around in Eden Eternal for a bit, as it does indeed seem rather cute, and they even let you play as this little mouse character, which is kind of adorable.

It looks like the game has some sort of job system similar to the Final Fantasy series where characters can switch classes as they please, but most of these get unlocked as your character reaches a new level. When starting out I only had two classes to choose from: warrior and mage. I chose to go mage because I like playing magic users in these sorts of games. There are also heroic traits that I had to chose from before starting that permanently augment my character's stats. You can only pick one of these, and from what I can tell they're permanent. They cannot be changed later like classes. I opted for one that would improve my character's intellect and magic critical chance.

So, with that I finished making my character and was plunged into the game world. It's certainly a colorful place with cheerful NPCs, and rather friendly-looking enemies. They're not such a friendly lot when they start hitting you, though (but still cute). The music is peppy, but extremely repetitive. It's just the same little ditty over and over again, and it started getting on my nerves after a while. The worst part is that the tunes started getting stuck in my head after a while. I recommend listening to your own music while playing.

Quests are extremely typical fair: kill ten of these, collect five of those, etc. and the game has an auto-pathing system to it so you don't even need to manually move your character to the next batch of baddies that you're supposed to smack around. Just right-click on their names on the little quest list thing to the right of the screen, and your on-screen alter ego will start running there by his / herself.

When your character gets where she's going, and it's time to start bonking monsters over the head, combat is also traditional with a series of hot keys and cooldowns. My mage just cycles between his fireball and lightning spell, occasionally tossing in an ice spell. I haven't had much use for other abilities that he's learned so far like area effect attacks. Maybe those will come in handy at higher levels, but I'll have to wait and see.

Wandering around town
The visuals are bright and colorful
This has really been the pattern up to about level 10 for my character: gather up all of the available quests that I can find, run to each area, kill many monsters, then move on to the next to do it again. It's absolutely not a hugely innovative experience in that regard.

Character development seems pretty standard too. At each level-up I get a point to spend in a talent tree which helps to make my character a little more unique in terms of its abilities. So far I've focused on a talent that will reduce the cast time of spells, as well as one that increases magic crit rates. I've not seen a huge improvement from this, but my fireballs do seem to be launching a little quicker now. There's also points that can be spent on improving the level of spells that my character knows. I'm not sure why this is here, as I always seem to have enough points to max out all my spells at each new level. There doesn't seem to be any choices that need to be made in terms of having to choose specific ones that I want to focus on and make into my character's specialty. Maybe this is something that happens at higher levels.

I've yet to try changing classes yet, but my character does have the ability to turn into a priest now, so maybe I'll try that for a bit. I'm not sure if I'm able to carry over abilities from other classes during these changes, effectively making a hybrid class, so I'll need to check that as well. I do think I'll need to grind a lot on monsters in order to get my character's level up on the other classes, though, as I've already completed all the lowbie quests, and can see no other way of going about that.

Hunting crabs by the water
The second zone that I went to
seems to have a seaside town
Anyway, Eden Eternal certainly doesn't offer anything new from what I've seen, and I suspect some will find it a boring grind. For now I'll keep it on my computer, and try leveling up a bit more to see what there is to see. It's pretty relaxing, as I just keep it in windowed mode, and play it in the background while doing other stuff. Just set the auto-pathing for its next destination, then go back to reading the news or whatever, and come back after a bit to smack around some monsters, then repeat the process all over again. I'm not looking for a hardcore raiding or PvP experience here, just a cute, cartoon styled game to futz around in when I've got some free time, and so far this game is filling that want reasonably well.

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