Which, among the slew of possibles, gains traction with the public or the media seems almost random. For a while, a year or so ago, Black Desert Online seemed to be just about all anyone could talk about while Blade and Soul scarcely got a mention. The announcement that imaginary MMO EQNext was never going to happen spurred some positively bizarre outpourings of emotion while the arrival of a global giant like Amazon onto the field was met with not much more than a collective "meh".
Meanwhile, almost every day brings news squibs almost too odd to process - WildStar
Revelation Online splash-landed in this fascinating, ever-changing sea of contradictions this week with scarcely a ripple. I think in this corner of the blogosphere, other than me, only Kaozz is playing and writing about it. Perhaps there has been something of the little boy crying wolf about the whole thing - all those buy-in "Closed" Betas leading to Early Access and now Open Beta - who can even tell when these things start any more?
|Muroc? You sure you spelled that right?|
It would seem not much has changed since the final Closed Beta. It took no more than the tiniest of patches to update my CB client, although even that managed to crash my router somehow. Once I got that sorted I was able to pick a region (North America) and a Server (Snowpine). I always play NA from cultural preference and even though Snowpine was "Busy" I wasn't about to play on a server called "Muroc" just because it had more room. Of course it had more room!
|Adventuring is srs bsns|
The first session took me to the low teens and this morning I upped that to just shy of level twenty. I would have carried on but the game crashed when I entered the first solo dungeon and I took the hint. By then I'd been playing for nearly four hours in total, an hour last night and three this morning. The time was positively flying by.
Had I stuck purely to questing and leveling I'd most likely have dinged twenty-five or so but once again I decided I wanted to learn how to craft. Instead of just bumbling around in game, talking to NPCs and learning nothing, I was sensible: I asked Dulfy.
At this point I could say that, as usual, Dulfy didn't let me down and that would, in a way, be quite true. She certainly has the most comprehensive guide to crafting in Revelation Online you could hope to find. That's the problem. I read it - well, most of it - and by the end I felt less prepared to start crafting than I was before.
It's not just that crafting in RO appears to be ferociously complicated, although it does. It's that nowhere in Dulfy's guide, or in this fairly approachable overview, or in this YouTube video, does anyone explain clearly how you get started!
|Now you tell me!|
No. Yes. Maybe. I spoke to every NPC who looked like they might know anything. I stared at the Chinese characters in the taunting in-game "Help" window. I opened every tab of every category in my extensive Crafting window and moused over every description. Nothing.
|I'll take everything you've got, please.|
Well, duh! Yes I do!
So I did, for all the good it did me. In fact I spent eighty of my hundred points opening Utilty (that's storage to you and me) plus what I took to be three Gathering skills, Botany, Mineralogist and Arborist (and why Botany not Botanist?). Then I asked myself "what next"?
|Raptor? Deer are raptors now?|
It only took one deer to update the quest but I stayed to slaughter a whole herd just to see if they'd give meat for cooking or hides for tailoring. Venison dropped aplenty and the mouseover tool tip confirmed it as a crafting ingredient. Progress
I didn't get any hides from my cull but I did get something even more useful from a deer - a finished leather tunic that would have been a huge upgrade had it been a) for my class and b) my level. Still, gear drops from wildlife confirmed. Always a positive.
|You don't know just how true that is.|
bust in that regard. I did manage to find a couple of choppable trees, which stand out from the very many unchoppable ones by dint of a an orange nimbus around the trunk.
As I ran up to it an Action button popped but when I clicked it another window opened to let me know I didn't have what it takes to chop wood. Not an axe, which indeed I did not have and which would have made sense, but "Forebearance" and "Erudition", both of which I would have said I'd more than demonstrated by that point. Oh well, I'll get there in the end. At least I know more now than I did before...
As I was choosing my next victim I noticed something odd. Small clusters of deer seemed to be viciously attacking thin air before keeling over, dead. It was puzzling at first until I remembered that while in town I'd pressed F10 to hide the visual clutter of player-run market stalls.
Revelation Online has a handy feature that effectively turns an MMO into a single player game. Tobold would love it. With a click of F10 you can choose whether to see everyone else, just your party or guild or no-one but your own, sweet self.
|Nice kitty..nice kitty...|
It's undeniably useful and as someone who favors the use of toggles for everything I can hardly speak against it. The effect it has on combat is decidedly odd, though, and if I'd already been using it when I came to the big city from the starting village I'd have missed a real once-in-a-game-lifetime moment.
I knew Revelation Online had some odd ideas. There's that giant turtle house for a start. Nothing I'd read, however, prepared me for the twenty foot tall housecat someone had chosen to ride down to the docks and park just where it would be the very first thing you saw, getting off the boat. I did, literally, do a double take.
|These bushes look very pretty now but wait til level 40.|
There's something about Revelation Online that I like and I can't put my finger on exactly what it is. Black Desert has a metric tonne more atmosphere and ambience and Blade and Soul is tighter, sharper, more focused, but RO has a goofy, cheerful playfulness about it that just makes it fun to mess around in.
|You should try putting them in a pic-a-nic basket.|
Non-consensual PvP from level 40 onward, as a Reddit thread explains, makes it "impossible to separate PvP from PvE. Everyone must learn to deal with PKers, either by being a good PvPer, or being an excellent runner". The PvE gear grind end game is supposedly "heavily RNG gated, but...can be circumvented via the cash shop". Revelation Online is not an MMO where I'd ever plan on settling down.
It does, however, make for a very intriguing place to visit. And the holiday snaps are stunning.