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Samhain's Zergwatch

Samhain's Zergwatch is a blog that started in 2006 on a different gaming community server and has since evolved into, a place to gather my twisted thoughts on the whole mess. Explore the oozing underbelly of gaming with me.

Author: zergwatch

Cabal Online serves up an an authentic Asian fusion menu

Posted by zergwatch Sunday March 23 2008 at 12:36PM
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If Cabal Online was a restaurant, it would be a trendy, authentic asian fusion joint where you can have sushi and egg foo young served together on the same plate. The waitresses would be wearing kimonos, gagaku would be playing in the background and the menus would be written completely in kanji. The whole game looks, feels and plays like an Asian MMORPG.

Cabal Online came out last year and was released in EU and Asian markets. Earlier this month the game was released in North America by OGPlanet. Upon entering the game, I get this overwhelming feeling that I have already played Cabal Online. Like most other Asian MMO's, you create your character and are just plopped down uknowingly in the middle of some small, yet bustling outpost full of people just waiting for your help.

One of the initial flaws with Cabal is a very unintuitive user interface with unhelpful configuration options. You have to play Cabal either with WASD or click to move with your mouse. I have always preferred using arrow keys. There doesn't seem to be any way to remap your keys in Cabal Online and their support site didn't even mention customized controls.

After being tossed around the village in what was a pretty weak attempt at a tutorial, I was given my first combat mission. I was also warned to be prepared to drink a lot. It seems that Cabal is a game that revolves around drinking potions. Ok, it's about drinking so many potions during combat that it extends beyond realistic and immersive and becomes a hindrance to fluid gameplay and a roadblock for fun.

When the clouds turn dark and rain starts to fall, I know its usually a good idea to go inside. When an MMORPG lacks creativity and immersion in the starter town, I know from experience it only goes downhill from there. When a game introduces an aggravating mechanic on your first combat encounter, the frustration of that mechanic only intensifies as you invest your time into playing the game.

Here is where my review of Cabal Online ends before it even begins. After completing the first few quests, I realized I was right when I said I have already played Cabal Online. The game offers nothing that has not been done before in other Asian fusion MMORPGs. It looks Asian. It plays Asian. It grinds Asian.

In a market where MMORPG's have become a dime a dozen comodity, they must capture the player's attention immediately. They must immediately immerse the player from level 1. The expectations of an MMORPG are realized in the first couple hours of playing the game. Cabal Online failed on first impression.

Perhaps I'm being a bit unfair with my initial assment of Cabal Online. I have not leveled into the combos, engaged in PVP or explored the uniqueness claimed by Cabal. Unfortunately, if Cabal Online was applying for the job as my primary MMORPG, it failed its initial interview. The game carries a pretty decent resume, but first impressions make the most impact. I was unimpressed with Cabal Online. When players tell you "Just wait until level 10, it gets better", that is a warning sign. If levels 1-9 aren't so exceptional as to grab my attention and suck me into the game, why should I expect it miraculously change at level 10?

Pepsipwnzgod writes:

people say hit level 10for the combos, the combos are what supposidly keep people, i played till 36 the combos arent much fun, the first time i was like "hmm that's pretty neat" the 25837298357298572938579823758927359273598273598275982735987256239876239857263459th time i was like "meh.."

Sun Mar 23 2008 1:32PM Report
KevinR writes:

I have played Cabal as a warrior till level 39, about a week. You can do all your leveling performing quests, there are 4 or 5 per level. I have done all the quests solo so far. The first levels go very fast and most of your equipment falls as loot. The quests at 35+ seem to be kill 50 Monsters or collect 10-20 items. I was hoping to get to level 50 and try the crafting but not too sure I will make it as its getting boring fast.

There are consent and non consent PvP servers but that does not stop you being challenged to duels every 5 minutes. Not been able to find a option to ignore duels. There is also alot of KSing in the game, not sure if it is being done by farming BOTs or other twinked players to get you to duel.

Cabal is one of the better F2P Asian mmorpg and will help to pass a few weeks till AoC or AION but I do not think I will be staying for the long term unless the crafting is superb.

Mon Mar 24 2008 7:30AM Report
sonicsix writes:

I am currently a level 81 Force Shielder.  I do not rely on potions to play although I will drink a level 2 mana potion about every 3rd fight.  Play is repetitive and a grind though.  You grind to level, you grind to earn skills... they even set up target dummies for you to AFK skill grind on.  No idea about crafting as that doesn't interest me... but as a whole the game is fun enough to keep me playing until a better MMO comes out (mye eye is on Citadel of Sorcery and I may try WAR).

Mon Mar 24 2008 8:44AM Report writes:
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