MMOStalgia Episode 2: 4Story
4Story is a classic MMORPG dating all the way back to 2008 (with a global release in 2014.) This is a title I’d never given the time of day, mainly because the game would just never load on my PC. I got repeated crash after crash. After troubleshooting the game extensively, I finally got it to work, though, and spent several hours playing through a desolate, lonely world.
Well.. “playing” is a strong word.
As soon as I entered 4Story I realized that while the game started you off at level 1, you had an extensive selection of abilities at your disposal. More abilities than you would probably find at max level in some MMOs. This made learning my class much more complicated than it would have otherwise been if I had been given these abilities slowly over time, providing me ample opportunity to not only test, but learn how each ability interacted with one another, and the enemies I was engaged with. Of which there were an almost insurmountable number of. Running anywhere in the game left you almost permanently engaged with the monsters between where you were and where you were going, with me at times being overrun by the time I made it to the quest objective, and struggling to survive. Combat itself wasn’t bad. It was fairly slow tab-target. The abilities looked pretty good given when this game was released, but I was turned off by the fact that while I had a large number of skills, all I needed to do was click “F” on my keyboard, and it would automatically use whatever ability was next in my rotation, meaning I didn’t need to pay attention to anything that was going on in combat.
The world itself looked decent. There were plenty of unique zones from what I could tell – none of which I visited, because I was restricted to the zone I was in all the way up until level 20 where I stopped. Graphically, yes, the game looks dated, but not in a way where you feel the game is unappealing to look at. Rather, it reminded me a lot of World of Warcraft’s Burning Crusade expansion. Which is generally touted as the best expansion of the MMOs entire life.
Unfortunately, while the game looked okay and played well enough to not be bored.. that was exactly what I was. Every quest was “kill x monster,” with the number of monsters required slowly increasing the higher level I got. By the time I was level 20, I was at a point where I needed to kill upwards of 40 enemies, multiple times, before being able to leave the hub I was in. Which is atrocious. The leveling experience almost brought me to tears in terms of boredom. I doubt it would’ve been nearly as bad had I been capable of actually playing the game, but since auto-combat was a thing, I had no reason to actively learn my class or my abilities.
At the end of the day, 4Story isn’t a bad game. Yes, there are aspects of it that I don’t enjoy. But just because I didn’t necessarily enjoy parts of the game, doesn’t mean other people won’t, by that same logic, appreciate them. The same way I enjoy the PvP in World of Warcraft.
If you enjoy long grinds, lots of PvP at late-game, and don’t mind the auto-mechanics present, then you’ll definitely find something in 4Story. Otherwise, you’ll want to avoid it as the grind is quite arduous.