Scions of Fate, the game formerly known as Yulgang: Balance of Power is one of the most played games in Asia. It has won many awards and was recognized as the best MMORPG of the year in Korea. Hoping to reach a broader audience and the same success Mgame recently released a U.S. version.
Oh so cute!
As I browsed through screenshots while waiting for the game to download I felt the little girl in me squeal with glee. The graphics weren't revolutionary but they were cute and the characters could even be called adorable. The graphics have the cartoony anime look of most Asian games, and there are tons of color options for hair and also some really cute outfits. I was a bit disappointed to see that many of the character creation options are not yet available, but that looks like it will soon change. The only options at this point are the four classes of swordsman, spearman, bowmen, and healer. The graphics are decent enough for a game that is free to play and free to download.
What do you mean I'm a man?
Apparently, in Scions of Fate, you are not allowed to play a character of the opposite sex. When players fill out their account information and specify whether they are male or female, that is the sex they get to play in game. My account was set up for me by someone over at Netgame, and an assumption was made that I was male and so was stuck playing one as well. I for one do not care to run around as a man, and I missed out on all the really cutesy girl-clothing, hairstyles, and did I mention clothing!!! This took a huge chunk of fun out of the game for me, but I sucked it up and continued on as a man.
Speaking of fun...
I tried really hard to find something fun in this game, but it was near impossible. In this game you can only move by clicking and there are no options to change this. The click to move wouldn't have been that huge of a problem, but if you log out in town, when you log back in you will probably be surrounded by the mobs of people that crowd all over the city in sell mode. With so many people surrounding me often it would take me ten minutes or so to find a spot to click so that I could move!
The targeting isn't any better. There is no way to tab to a target. To target a mob, I had to click exactly in its center. To attack the mob, I had the option of right clicking on my attack button, or double clicking exactly on the center. This became very frustrating especially with the hordes of other players trying to take every mob in sight regardless of the fact that someone else is already fighting it! This would be due to the fact that the game is the biggest grind fest I have ever encountered. Oh and by the way there are only a handful of quests. They are few and far between and the conversion to English doesn't always come across right so don't expect too much from that end.
The game does sport a premium shop, and if players are willing to fork out some dough, this in itself could be fun. The premium shop is an online store for players where they can purchase anything from hair dye, pets, and clothing, to food, and buffs. To give an idea of the price of items in this shop $1.00 equals 1000 ncash, which is what players use to make purchases. I bought some hair dye for 5000 ncash and a pet leopard for 15,000 ncash, so $5.00 for a bottle of hair dye and $15.00 for a pet. This is where the company makes it's money, and while people spend money on some pretty strange items, I have a hard time seeing Americans handing over this kind of cash for these items, especially when they can play another mmo for $15.00 a month and get these items for free.
Such a catchy little tune!
The character creation music will be about the most enjoyable aspect of this game. I actually caught myself dancing to it, and each time I log in it brings a smile to my face. Sadly the in game music is nowhere near as catchy as what plays in the beginning. The music that plays once you're in the world is so annoying that I turned the music all the way down. There are also a few emotes with a couple cute sounds like the laughs, but that is about it.
Why can't we all just get along?
The community in this game has to be the worst community in any game that I have ever played. I am not even joking a little on this! Not once while playing this game did anyone ever answer a question or reply to anything I said. This can mostly be attributed to the fact that although it is the U.S. version, it is rare to find anyone who can speak English. Gold sellers flood the chat channels and no one even cares!
Remember that targeting problem I mentioned earlier? Well it is the same with dropped items. If a mob drops loot a player has to double click exactly in the center or it cannot be picked up. The problems appear when something rare drops like a gem, and every player around runs over to quickly stand on top of it. Why do they do this? It is quite simple really. The dropped loot has a timer on it. If you do not pick it up in x amount of time it is open for anyone to pick up. If someone else stands on top of this item the player it actually belongs to cannot pick it up because another player is blocking its center. The first person that stood on it can usually still pick it up for some odd reason. At one point I had 15 players on top of my drop! I asked politely that they move and let them know that it was my drop, but no one responds.
This isn't only a problem with the loot. It also happens with npcs. Players who are selling will crowd around an npc so that it is impossible to click on the npc. When a player tries to click on the npc they click on one of the sellers instead thus opening up that sellers shop. The frustration with the community alone is enough to never touch this game.
There is no role-playing at all that I could find in this game.
Nothing Gonna Hold Me Down...
In this game nothing will hold you down, or bog you down for that matter. The game is virtually lag free. I had no performance issues what so ever, and looking at the system requirements, it looks like almost any system could run this game without a problem. I have yet to play any game that is as free of lag as this one.
Hello! Is anybody home?
Or working for that matter. I submitted two customer service tickets (of course this was after I found the very tiny help option at the very top of the screen). One of those tickets was completed and it took two and a half weeks. I clicked on the check inquiry button on the page and where the CS rep should have left their response, it was blank... The second ticket has still not been answered. While I was in the game, I also heard one of the few English-speaking people ask how to get hold of customer service because they could not get a response. No one answered them either, at least not out loud. I sent them a whisper. Add this to the multitudes of gold selling spam and customer service scores pretty low.
You get what you pay for
Overall, one has to keep in mind that this game is free to play and free to download. It is better than other free games of its type that I have played. The graphics aren't half bad, the game runs smoothly, and everything is pretty simple. Players that are into spending cash on in game items may find the premium shop to be a perk too. Everyone likes something different and to each his own. This is only my opinion, so go ahead and give it a try. It could be an mmo dream come true!