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Spellborn International
MMORPG | Genre:Fantasy | Status:Cancelled  (est.rel 04/23/09)  | Pub:Frogster Interactive / Mindscape / Acclaim
PVP:Yes | Distribution:Download | Retail Price:Free | Pay Type:Free | Monthly Fee:Free
System Req: PC | Out of date info? Let us know!

An Intro to Spellborn

MMORPG.com Chronicles of Spellborn Correspondent Patrick S. Marshall writes this piece introducing players to some of the early concepts in The Chronicles of Spellborn.

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If you are considering that sort of venture in the upcoming MMORPG The Chronicles of Spellborn, then you could use some hints on how your hero should look and what he should be capable of. TCoS offers a refreshing amount of innovations and some of them are obvious right away, as soon as you create your first character.

There are two races in TCoS, Humans and Daevi (half-demons). Before you wonder what difference there is between them, don't bother. There are none - at least not from the game mechanic side. SIL, the Netherlands studio that developed TCoS made a decision with huge a impact when they chose try to offer a game without restrictions based on class, race or other "mechanical" choices.

Of course, the two races have two distinguishing qualities: One is looks - the Daevi are half-demons after all. The other one is background, a very important part of TCoS not only because it is the blood that flows though the veins of a good RPG, but also because you will face the past many times in TCoS. But let’s get back to our character, shall we?

In TCoS, you don't start off with your full class from the beginning. You start as an Archetype. There are three to choose from: Warrior, Caster and Rogue. At level five, you eventually pick your class. One of three will be available to you, depending on which Archetype you chose.

Possible Archetype/Class choices and the most important stats for the given class:

Warrior:

  • Bloodwarrior (body + body)
  • Adept (body + focus)
  • Wrathguard (body + mind)

Caster:

  • Runemage (mind + body)
  • Ancestral Mage (mind + mind)
  • Void Seer (mind + focus)

Rogue:

  • Trickster (focus + body)
  • Skinshifter (focus + focus)
  • Deathhand (focus + mind)

Spellborn Art

So it is important where you want to go, before you are creating your Character. But here is the twist in TCoS. There are no predefined roles for classes. It breaks with the holy trinity of other MMOs, where you have Tanks, Damage-Dealers and Healers. In TCoS the Tank can be the healer, even at the same time. This is going to make decision making quite interesting.

First, you need to abandon what you have learned about classes in other games. In TCoS your role in a group depends very much on your skill-deck, a set of skills that you can utilize during combat. Every class has some sort of healing. Some are restricted to self-healing, others can heal the whole party and yet others can accidentally heal the enemy too. But going into the depth of the skill-deck would be a whole article by itself and is best left for another time.

So TCoS is really offering you the possibility to choose not by a predefined role, but rather to your own personal liking. Of course, some classes may have a better chance of withstanding a high amount of damage and others can do more damage eventually.

To help you a little bit, here is a link to an article on the differences, which should help you understanding strengths and weaknesses of the different classes.

We do have some cool articles on each archetype here at MMORPG.com too:

Now that you have decided which archetype/class you would like to play, we come to character generation. First, you should know that there are no stats on items in Spellborn so forget all that item-hunting madness you have to waste two thirds of your online time in other games farming. In TCoS, armor is all about style. And there is a lot of it! You cannot only choose to wear full plate as a caster or rogue, but the number of armor pieces (there are a total of 13 armor slots and several for jewelry) alone is incredible. Also, you can choose to wear stuff only on one side, like shoulders or gloves. So whether you want to be the bare-breasted barbarian rogue or the head-to-toe covered fighter is completely up to you. Even the weapon choice is very free and does not affect game mechanics. So where does diversity come from? First of all, there are magic items called sigils. Sigils can be used on weapons, jewelry and even on skills to enhance their usefulness (ie: put tats into them). Combining sigils to your liking is a big thing in TCoS, and if you are fed up with a weapon, or just found a cooler one, you can take the sigil from your old weapon and have it inserted into the new one.

Spellborn Art

There is yet another important choice you have to make in the early stages of your hero career. You have to choose among five high houses. The high houses are political powers that work together - most of the time - to overcome the hardships of the TCoS universe. Each high house has its own agenda and sooner or later there will be political struggle among them, driven by the actions of the players. But choosing a house also defines certain other things. A lot of quests are given by the high house, so being in one prevents you from taking the quests from another. Which, of course, makes the re-playability of the game very interesting.

But don't worry, as soon as the choice of high houses gets important, you will learn more about them.

So what do you really need to know to start off into the Chronicles of Spellborn? The background story might be a good start. Not because it is essential to know what happened, but because if you don't you will wonder at a certain point why the name of the Vhelgar Queen you are standing on a big shard of rock that is floating trough a storm of magic in space. This link get will take you to the time-line, which will help you understand the story a whole lot better.

In TCoS character creation is more about personal choice then any other game. TCoS does not confine you into certain roles and it does not choose for you. Your choices are yours and your actions have appropriate consequences. So which is the best choice for a starting character? Right! Whatever you fancy!

If we get our hands on more details and pictures, we will deliver them of course, so stay tuned for more from The Chronicles of Spellborn.

PART II will take an in depth look into the different houses, how skill choice makes a difference and what your first steps will be.

Some additional Links that offer good reads:

Patrick S. Marshall / Started with RPGs with 10, Computer Games with 7, worked in the gaming industry (from RPG store clerk, to author, journalist and more), started online gaming with 15, playing MUDs, went from UO all the way through most better known MMOs, still looking for the right one...

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