MY FINAL THOUGHTS After 3 Weeks in Noah's Hearts' Global Closed Beta
More cross-platform anime MMO games are popping up than any year before. We have Tower of Fantasy, Ni No Kuni Crossworlds, Gran Saga on the horizon, Diablo Immortal, and who knows what else! And now we have Noah’s Heart, a new MMORPG Gacha game that is for PC, iOS, and Android.
Noah’s Heart, is a self-proclaimed “next-generation MMORPG” by Archosaur Games. It offers players a seamless open world to explore. Real-time combat. A character creator to give you that sense of identity. This is the very definition of an MMO, and after spending hours playing and streaming the most recent Global Closed Beta, I have some opinions. Opinions that might help you get a better gauge on what to expect.
Before I can get into the specifics of the game, let’s just talk about the character creator itself. Between the choices of male or female and gussying them up to look your best, I did find that it was extremely difficult to make myself look adult on either male or female. So basically, you are the chosen hero of the world but also possibly around teen years. So let’s hope you finish your schoolwork before going out to be the very best like no one ever was. The character creator itself is fairly good. I didn’t feel like I could make anything too crazy or unique, but still cute and colorful enough to give myself a flair of me. There’s options like tall, short, skinny, “chubby”, tan, light, make-up, a small variety of hairs, and various choices on eyebrows and irises. I’d love to show you more in detail, but unfortunately when I started this game it was on my phone in the middle of a beach with barely any Internet as it was a mad race to get in. It was supposed to be a closed beta, but it pretty much allowed for anyone to join so long as you made an account before the cap was reached. Poor Stix, despite being invited, couldn’t join as it filled with a lot of folks very quickly! You’ll also be faced with choosing a weapon type, and don’t freak out, you can change this at any time. There is sword and shield, polearm, dual blades, and bow. Each weapon type has a skill tree to unlock to make you an even more formidable foe on the battlefield. I’ll actually go more in detail upon the combat in a little bit, but first I want to talk about the world itself.
The world is huge with changing weather and day and night cycles. It’s actually round and explorable by means of horse, swimming, grappling hook, jetpack, trains, boats, airships, and NPC cars. The overall theme is a steampunk virtual world with endless possibilities and it does feel rather endless. If you want to go to an island, just hop on a boat. I had no clue where the boat was taking me, but I just trusted the process. Being a curious explorer, I just let the boat take me where it wanted to and I ended up in a lvl 70 area somewhere in a jungle. I couldn’t find anything to do there, probably because I wasn’t lvl 70, but it was rather lovely to ride around and see. I spent the total of the 3 weeks exploring as much as I possibly could and trying as much as I could. Throughout the world are chests, challenges, side quests, and world bosses that appear at certain times in the day. There’s also collecting to be done in the world as there is crafting. You’ll be able to make recipes to feed your phantoms so they fall into friendship with you, create outfits that you’ll gather from the story or become closer to your phantoms that’ll eventually give you their outfit. Build furniture for your house. You can even go around the world and find wild horses to tame and breed. Just like the world, the amount of things you can do is a boundless range of things to do besides story quests. Because trust me, you’re going to need to focus on things to do beyond the story as it does become lvl locked at certain times.
A great resource for finding things to do is your growth book, aka adventure book. For the sake of time, I most likely won’t be delving too deep into what there is to do, because that’s going to take me a while. So in superficial terms there are dungeons called realms where you’ll face different challenges with increasing rewards, phantom training where you can fight alongside your phantom of choices to garner rewards to level them, temple of time which is basically a tower progression system with rewards, realm of chaos that unlocks at lvl 60 where you can go at it alone or with friends to another tower-like progression battle that gives you upgrade materials and keys for a constellation system that adds to your overall stats, trials of wind that are fun little adventures, trails of light that is another tower-progression system to give you phantom upgrades, battle trials for phantom upgrade material, season stories that pull in characters from the main story, PvP arenas, your own home with activities, guild halls with activities like dancing at the fire and guild challenges. And I know I haven’t even touched everything and I’ll go into further detail here shortly on a few aspects but if I’m being quite frank, the amount of things I can and should be doing in this game feels borderline a little overwhelming. It also feels overwhelming when you sign on. There’s just, so…many….red….things…to click and attend to upon logging in. On average I think I spent five or more minutes clicking through things before actually beginning gameplay.
When you’re participating in these activities, you’ll be consuming energy, which there are two systems of in this game. There is fatigue that drains when you enter a realm, so be careful on what you want to spend your fatigue on. Then there is energy, which relates solely to your career options such as tailoring, crafting, and cooking. Both of these will replenish each day. And as I mentioned at the start of this game, there is a gacha system. It has a standard gacha system that we’re all becoming more familiar with since the explosion of Genshin Impact. After 60 summons you are guaranteed an SSR drop but if one drops before the 60 mark the chance will reset. Though something a touch different is a wishlist. You can add the SSR or SR character of your choice to a wishlist that will increase the chances of the character to drop for the day. The wishlist will reset everyday so make sure to set your wish before you roll. Duplicates will just feed into leveling your characters, so nothing is wasted. Should you have friends on your friends list, you can share a luxury of exchanging friend points that can also be used towards more summons on the friendship phantom card. So make sure you at least find active friends for your friend’s list. Otherwise you’re stuck with the regular card pulls that will utilize lucky coins, which appear to be purchasable probably upon release and obtained from world activities and diamonds, which can be acquired simply by doing things about the world and guild contribution. The phantoms themselves are utilized in dungeons, and you’ll want to pick one to possess you but they will not change your looks. This will only allow you to not only have your weapon of choice, but the skillset of your phantom. It’s important to level them as they level more abilities will unlock, level their weapons for better stats, and sign soul contracts with them to increase their stats as well. As I mentioned before, you can increase your friendship with your phantoms as well. As your closeness increases, so too will your conversations. They will begin texting you, giving you quests, and generally give you gifts as you give them gifts. Upon maxing them out, you will obtain their outfit that you will then of course need to craft at the tailor. One thing that does bother me about these phantoms is the fact their artwork looks absolutely stunning, but the stark difference between the character card and what they look like in game is honestly unsettling. But beyond looks, each phantom is unique and fun to play as to find what style works best for you, especially in dungeons and PVP.
The combat itself is auto-lock on and your 3 phantoms, besides the one that is possessing you, come alongside you into battle and will navigate themselves. The dungeons can typically be done with real people or just you and your phantoms, the social choice is yours. Most dungeons do have an option for auto-combat, but should you have a timed event like in one of the dungeons where I needed to collect rocks before the timer runs out, they will just stare at you doing all the work whereas real players assist. Very few challenges require real people, even if it makes it faster, which is nice for anti-socials like myself. World bosses are fought with real people and only the phantom possessing you will come along for the fight so choose your strongest one! PvP also utilizes real people, or at least I think so. Some PvP matches I went into no one was moving and just kinda occasionally hit me but I’m not entirely sure they were bots. Also, the music in the PvP was a whole on BOP. Like I can’t, just…just listen. I suppose this is where I should state that there is no auto-combat in PvP except in one singular mode. There are three modes of PvP that can be done 5 times each each day and 2 modes that require specific days and times. The three daily modes are honor arena where it’s you vs the other person one time. Top duel, that will require 3 phantoms to possess you for a total of 3 rounds. Fantasy arena, which is totally hands off combat where your team fights the enemy’s team. Team match, which I was able to jump into, is 4 real people vs 4 other real people and the team to reach 8 kills before the end of the timer or the highest number of kills before the end of the timer, wins. Then finally the ultimate operation that I honestly didn’t even get a chance to get into because of the locked days and times! So just imagine something cool with 4 other people happening here because I have no clue what this mode does.
I also can’t really talk about the combat without also touching upon how it felt to play the game on PC vs phone. So as I mentioned at the start of the video, I did have to start out playing on the phone as I was at a beach. The controls were ok for a phone, but when I finally got home to the PC I found it to be very unfriendly for mouse and keyboard users. So the mouse itself moves the camera around but movement is the standard WASD. However, attacks are also bound to the keyboard as well and can not be rebound to the mouse at all. This left me needing to let go of my mouse to press my attacks and then quickly snap back to my mouse to turn my camera so I could face yet another enemy to attack. You can opt to use a controller, but it is not supported in terms of coming with buttons already set up to be used. You’ll need to manually put in the bindings if you choose to utilize the controller. Basically if you’re not playing this game on mobile it’s annoying in one form or another to play.
I feel like if I needed to sum the game up in one word it would actually be annoying. Between the amount of time spent pushing red notifications, struggling to move between mouse and keyboard, and generally having FPS issues it did get a bit annoying. Now granted that didn’t stop me from finding enjoyment within it as it was indeed a means to pass the time and does indeed have some features I enjoy within a game. The exploration is fun, the amount of things you can do is nice, and the little challenges you’d find were also fun. But there’s a lot that I believe needs to be rectified before I can say I’d choose this game over other cross-platform games that are coming out this year within the same genre. However, if this game still looks interesting to you, and it is interesting you can go and pre-register now for rewards upon launch and I’ll put the link below to the website so you can find it easily. Anway, this was Mrs Stix logging off for now. Bai!