Open Skies: Skyforge Enters Open Beta

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.

16 Comments

  1. Max Planck says:

    Play with me my lord…

  2. mechabuddha says:

    I’m playing this right now, and it’s pretty fun. The combat reminds me a bit of the Neverwinter MMO, but a little more actiony, and with FFXIV’s class changing on a single character. It’s not super hard, but you’d be surprised how many people I see dying from not dodging telegraphed attacks.

  3. aepervius says:

    Combat is pretty fun at least at the start and you get news skills at a good enough pace.

    I am a bit concerned with the business model, i got badly burned with neverwinter, so now I am overly warry and stingy. In fact I am still subbed with other MMO (DDO, SWTOR) and would rather pay monthly than touch any F2P model with a 10 foot pole nowadays, but the gameplay of skyforge is interresting…. Mmmh.

  4. montorsi says:

    Oh so it’s not a standalone crafting game that takes place in Whiterun. Well color me disappointed.

    • Stone_Crow says:

      The above link is worth reading – once you are downloading the game you are seeding the game for other people.

      • phelix says:

        It also defaults to starting up automatically on every Windows boot. That seems rather scummy.

        • killmachine says:

          yea but you can get into the options and disable both the seeding and the automatic start.

  5. vahnn says:

    “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.”

    Funny, I just put about 7 minutes into it and got to the part where I selected my race, class, and gender. (Literally 7 minutes, not “literally” the way people under the age of 26 use it.)

  6. Kitsunin says:

    This is intriguing. It doesn’t have the same focus on aiming as Guild Wars 2, but it’s still fairly mobile, and unlike that game, my 200 ms of ping doesn’t cause it to poop itself constantly. Dunno how good it really is yet, but it feels pretty pleasing, at least.

    • Kitsunin says:

      Oh yeah, one thing i really dig, is that you can pick how masculine or feminine you want your running animation to be, regardless of gender.

  7. Awesomeclaw says:

    I’ve given this a shot, if anyone wants to group up look me up: Osmond Lapin

  8. kipue says:

    Looks pretty nice, I did like Allods Online for a little while, but had to use a VPN to do so.
    Here, I am a little wary of the “premium account” thing, does it affect the rate at which we earn experience? (I guess I’ll have a search for that, but still, if anyone has insight, that’s cool :))
    The rest, I don’t mind too much but that really killed SWOTOR for me past lvl 20…
    But first impressions are nice, while I’m waiting for Wildstar to go F2P at least ^^