Delving Deeper Into Ascent: Infinite Realm (Level 9 to Level 20)
A couple weeks ago I did a first impressions video on Ascent: Infinite Realm. I managed to hit level 9 and record a few hours of the beginning of the game.
It went on to garner over a hundred thousand views with quite a few of you guys requesting a more in-depth look.
So here I am, providing a second look at A:IR. This will be part 2 in a small “level 1 to endgame” series that I plan on finishing over the next month or two.
Now, let me preface this by stating that to play A:IR right now you’ll need a Thai IP so a VPN is a must.
I use ExitLag because they’re fast and safe.
For those of you that never watched my first part, allow me to give you a quick rundown of what A:IR is.
Ascent: Infinite Realm is an open-world MMORPG by the people that brought us TERA and PubG.
It utilizes a unique combat system that doesn’t require tab-targeting but instead requires a target to hover over to attack. It runs on Unreal Engine 3 but still looks pretty good considering.
So when last we left the game, my wife MrsStix and I were level.. 9? We’d never had to fight a boss that required a group to tackle.
In most MMOs these days you don’t need to party to do quests. Quest bosses are normally soloable, just like quests themselves.
A:IR.. was not that easy. Not even close. Our very first boss encounter absolutely wiped us. We tackled it with my wife who was a healer, myself being a mage and a third guy.. Iunno what he was.
Ultimately, we ended up partying the two other players around and managed to finish the fight.
This took a solid ten minutes or more to accomplish since we wiped several times but the sheer difficulty of that encounter alone made for one of the best experiences I’ve had in an MMO in a long while.
I miss fights like this that require group play, coordination, healing, dodging, planning. It’s what games with multiplayer aspects are supposed to be built around that developers these days forget.
One thing I would like to note is that there are still a plethora of bugs in-game.
I had a quest that asked me to cross the large gap between islands to complete the next part of my quest.
I was about to fly over when I saw an airship docking right next to me that would fly me over there without the need for me to waste my mount’s limited stamina.
Naturally I boarded the airship ’cause A. I wanted to know what it looked like, and B. I didn’t wanna waste my already depleted mount’s stamina.
Upon getting close, shortly after moving through the loading screen my game locked up.
Completely locked up.
Then it crashed.
I spent hours troubleshooting the hell out of this. Ran file-checks. Tried with a VPN, tried without a VPN. Tried logging into my wife’s account. Tried rebooting, clearing my cache. Tried a different VPN all together.
Nothing seemed to work.
My wife suggested she log into my account and see if she can’t successfully make it in-game to move my character and thank the RNG gods it worked.
She could log my character but I couldn’t. Or at least I couldn’t as long as I was on that airship.
So she promptly logged me in, jumped me off the ship to my death, then I could log my character once again.
Honeslty I don’t understand the logic behind that but if she hadn’t fixed it I think I woulda threw my PC out of my 3rd story apartment window.
So yeah.. I flew over there. Fuck those ships, dude.
Questing seemed mostly uninspired, at least from what I’ve played over the last 10 or so hours.
There were a few exceptions like where we were required to aim nets at chickens to capture them and return them to the quest target but for the most part they were “go out and kill 5 monsters” or “gather 3 items”.
You know, the usual when it comes to leveling quests.
One of the things about the game that bothered me the most is that A:IR is supposed to be open-world.
Yet from everything we’ve played thus far, everything story-related takes place in an instance.
You’re instanced off from the vast majority of other players, the only players you encounter being people at the same point in the story as you.
This makes leveling feel a lot emptier than it should.
I know that more often than not leveling zones are pretty void of players since the game really begins upon reaching max level but instancing off the leveling areas.. Iunno. Just rubs me the wrong way.
Thankfully with this game being in beta testing there are tons of new players making it in-game every day so the leveling areas, or leveling instances, rather, are still fairly dense in terms of playerbase.
This makes it easier to complete objectives since as long as you tag an enemy you get credit. This way I get to be lazy and have other people help kill my quest targets for me.
But it also helps prevent killstealing which is a very prevalent part of the leveling experience in many MMOs.
An interesting feature my wife made me aware of though is the fact that you can actually change various animations in-game.
As an example, my wife and I equipped a different walking animation that has us skip along like little schoolgirls.
I spent the rest of the game running around like that and honestly, it was really weird to play the game like that but the default animations aren’t really any better.
Now, my wife and I as stated made it to level 20. Maybe 21. We have still yet to be able to participate in any dungeons or PvP but we’re making steady progress towards it.
From what we experienced, the 10-20 journey was significantly more fun than 1-10 but that’s probably to be expected.
I can honestly say that I look forward to part 3 where we make it above level 30 and approach the later parts of the game as the more I play this the more fun it becomes.
Sure, it could still use some polish. Combat still seems a little clunky, animations are a little off and performance is.. well it’s Unreal Engine 3.
But I mean, I’m having fun right now, what else is there to care about?