ELYON: Before You Buy - Things to Know
The second Closed Beta for Elyon just finished, and with the game launching next month on September 29th, I thought I’d detail my experience through both the Beta tests. Discuss things I think are worth noting before investing money into purchasing the game. And mention what I believe Elyon does right.
Let me start off by saying that I do not think Elyon should be a buy-to-play MMO. I’ve seen people compare this to both Bless Unleashed, which launched recently, and New World, which is launching around the same time.
And while the combat and graphics are definitely an improvement over Bless, and I daresay the combat is better than both Swords of Legends and New World as well, I don’t think, at its core, this is the better game of the aforementioned titles.
I think Elyon would work better as a free title. It definitely doesn’t feel like a premium title, and I’m afraid that is going to be reflected in its sales and subsequently its playerbase.
Don’t get me wrong; Elyon isn’t in any way a bad game. On the contrary, it’s actually pretty fun from what I’ve played. But I wouldn’t pay $40 to play it. Just like I wouldn’t pay $40 to play FlyFF or Secret World Legends, even though I’ve had fun with both titles in the past.
Elyon features a large, open world. There are no loading screens separating any of it. What you see, you can reach. You can move without limitation, with the exception being the levels of the monsters in each area.
While open worlds can often feel barren, empty, void of content and purpose, Elyon attempts to remedy this by providing a slew of different blue side-quests quests that are entirely unrealated to the typical yellow side-quests, sending players all over the world in an attempt to complete them.
However, I did note that these were typically “kill 50 to 100 of the same monster,” with monsters being heavily consolidated into groups. These were essentially required if you wanted to level, as – at least from my experience – I repeatedly hit walls that prevented me from progressing with the story.
It didn’t matter than I did every main quest, every yellow side-quest I could. I would always hit a point where I needed to accept additional kill quests to continue. Yes, could pop an XP potion or grind dungeons, but leveling should be seamless. Uninterrupted.
It should be an experience you can tackle at your own pace. You shouldn’t be required to stop and grind content that is absolutely irrelevent to the leveling process. This made leveling much more of an arduous process than I would have otherwise liked.
Speaking of leveling, a large part of MMOs – at least to me, is the PvE experience. And PvE typically involves dungeons and raids.
Dungeons in Elyon, all the way up to level approximately 40 if my memory serves, are entirely solo, meaning you’re not required to group up with other players until that point. Level 40. That’s a large percentage of the game already gone – already experienced by that point.
As an MMO, if you’re actively discouraging players from participating in content together, if you’re purposefully forcing them apart… you’re losing out on, you’re missing a core facet of what makes your game an MMO. And that was highly disappointing for us.
Our group wanted to do content together, and other than grinding in the overworld, we just.. couldn’t. There was no purpose to having a group, other than to make killing monsters a little faster.
Now, thankfully the action combat cushions the impact of being required to grind a little due to not only how fast it can be at times, but also by how impressive the special effects look overall.
This is the single area I believe Elyon really excels. While other games like SOLO provide a better leveling experience, and New World provide a better PvE experience, Elyon really captures the “action combat” feeling better than any other title launching this year.
Thus far, Mrs Stix and I have tested the Elementalist, Mystic and Slayer classes. As a Mage main, the Elementalist felt absolutely fantastic. Being given the freedom to aim your abilities is a completely different experience in a video game.
I love tab-target games, don’t get me wrong, but the difficulty–the challenge of successfully landing your attacks provides a different type of satisfaction.
This was.. less so the case when we played the new Slayer class, unfortunately, as I feel as though while the Mage classes were incredibly fun, the melee – or at the very least the Slayer felt slower and significantly clunkier.
Watching my Slayer fumble her way around enemies, with me attempting to repeatedly land hits that just flung me right past them got old. Fast. I’ve found this very same issue in Vindictus recently as well with the new Tessa character.
Maybe I’m just not that good at melee classes in action MMOs, I dunno. But this is one of the reasons I prefer Mages. That, and mobility. I always feel as though you’re highly immobile when playing melee.
Something you should all know about Elyon, though, is that while the combat is a lot of fun, and the world is expansive, you’ll constantly be on the lookout for other players. This is because Elyon is an open-world PvP MMO.
During the first Closed Beta, as a friend of ours Hikari noted on MassivelyOP at one point, we were stream-sniped, having players of the opposite faction move around the world in an attempt to engage us in PvP. This would consist of 3 to 5 people at a time, often overwhelming the two of us.
Well, sometimes we had a friend of ours, who goes by the name Maki on Discord there as well, but well… he accompanied me many years ago in Aion and uhh.. suffice it to say, the encounters never went over very well in our favor.
We gave as good as we got, and we never ran from a fight, but that just made things more frustrating. Especially when we’d attempt to help other players out in the world.
We’d see people of the same faction as us trying to do a quest, only to get ganked by a couple opposing faction players, often camping them, griefing them. That’s the thing about open-world PvP: While it can be a lot of fun, it also brings out the worst in people.
I’ve never been a fan of ganking people, and seeing groups of friends group up together to run around “roflstomping” solo players is just… dumb. But hey, they’re the target demographic for PvP games, right? So this type of behavior should be expected. It’s just not really for me.
The cash shop really didn’t look that bad from what we saw in the Beta. And, I know, “didn’t look THAT bad” is still kinda bad. But from what people have been saying about the Korean cash shop.. if we end up going the same route as Korea, which we very well might, then we’ll have something to worry about.
You can’t expect Kakao to infest the cash shop with pay-to-win in a Beta that is supposed to garner attention and future sales for the game, right? Right. So discussing the cash shop in its current form seems a little redundant. This isn’t what we’ll have shortly after the game launches.
Graphically, Elyon looks kind of like an updated amalgamation of TERA and ArcheAge. The areas are gorgeous, your abilities look stunning and your characters… well.
If the thumbnail for this video didn’t capture your attention due to the thumbnail, then I guess the character models probably aren’t too important to you. But they are for a lot of people!
And while Elyon definitely has a decent character creator, providing plenty of sliders to customize your character into something relatively unique, it doesn’t offer the same depth as other games like Black Desert or even an older MMO like Perfect World.
There are plenty of costumes, though, allowing for a more complex selection of customization options. And we all know fashion is the endgame..
But, that is.. pretty much it.
We poured approximately 25 to 30 hours into the game and this was pretty much everything we experienced.
Elyon is a ridiculously large open-world MMO with a lot of opportunity for exploration.
It features one of the better action combat systems present within the genre.
It looks gorgeous and actually runs pretty well even on Unreal Engine 3.
Open-world PvP makes attempting to do anything in the open-world more difficult than it would otherwise need to be.
The Unreal Engine 3 engine is going to highly inhibit the potential for the game.
Level-gating the story behind arduous grinds is an atrocious model.
Discouraging players to participate in group content such as dungeons in favor of solo-play is anti-MMO.
The Korean cash shop leaves little in the way for future potential equality and balance among whales and normal players.
The $30-$40 price tag is far from worth it.
Ultimately, Elyon is a perfectly passable MMORPG. It’s not going to break the genre, heck, given that it’s launching at roughly the same time as New World, I fear that the game is going to end up highly overlooked.
Which means that there’ll likely be nobody actually playing it long-term.
I don’t think the combat, which is by far the game’s main selling point in my opinion is enough to warrant a purchase of the title, and with how much of a grind it turned out to be, along with the forced PvP.. I feel as though this will likely end up a pass for most players.