Ah yes, I’ve just checked and it is a day ending in y, meaning a free to play MMO has entered open beta. This go round on the roulette wheel is Skyforge’s [official site], made chiefly by the lot behind Russian MMO Allods Online, Allods Team (formerly Astrum Nival). Obsidian, of Pillars of Eternity among various others, are oddly also involved (hey, we all have bills to pay).
Skyforge is set on the world of Aelion and you play gods attempting to protect it from alien invasion. It’s full on hammy sci-fi fantasy, but looks just eye-catching and interesting enough in class design and art direction to dispel some of my cynicism. Come see details on the beta and the latest trailer:
Combat is a lot more action-orientated than you might be used to from hotkey MMOs of the past and the first ten minutes I just went through are story-focused, fully voice acted and very pretty. Enemies come thick and fast and are felled with a few flashy swings, up until a boss that must be taken down with teamwork. There wasn’t a hint of challenge to it, but it was satisfying. You don’t pick a race, class or even gender before the game starts, all of it (presumably) being done in-game as part of their promised feature of being able to class-switch at any time. I didn’t get that far, I have news posts to write.
The move to open beta has changed how the paid-for elements of the game work. Founder’s Packs, which were used to help fund the game, are gone and replaced with Starter Packs and the Collector’s Edition. The Starter Pack is mostly in-game currency and upgrade to premium account, which increases the speed at which you obtain various resources. The collector’s edition comes with a lot more benefits, including early access to classes. As always, it’s worth exploiting the F2P system at least until you hit up against whatever payment walls are in place before throwing down money.
There’s no word on when open beta testing will end and the game will be fully launched, but Obsidian and Allods are promising months of content updates. Support will depend, I assume, on just how much money is made over the next few months. If you want to see a bit more of how the game actually plays, there’s about ten hours of livestream footage from the developers on YouTube.