It seems like just last week I was taking Continent of the 9th, or C9, for a spin in my review and now here I am checking out an expansion for it already. I know a lot of people don’t tend to like when expansions or DLC come out too quickly. They feel like that is content which could have been included in the initial release and the company is just trying to milk extra money out of the community. In some cases that may very well be, but personally I’m a fan of as much DLC and expansion content as I can get my grubby little mitts on, especially with an MMO. We fly through content so fast these days that it is hard to keep MMOs fresh and inviting without regular additions and updates. So anyway, where was I? Oh yeah, C9’s new expansion, The Ruined Empire. I’ve been taking it for a spin lately and here’s what you can look forward to.
First and foremost, I got to take the new Shaman class, the Reaperess for a couple laps around the proverbial track. I have to admit, I had a blast with the class. Maybe it was just the huge scythe weapon she wields, I don’t know, but I dug her. The Reaperess branches off of the Shaman class and is a fast attacking melee-DPS style class with few evasive skills and fairly weak defenses. It was definitely fun getting in the middle of a huge mass of monsters and turning into a whirling dervish with that scythe. The attacks are huge and sweeping and look really cool and are very well animated. With wide sweeping attacks, as you’d expect there are a lot of Area of Effect attacks at your disposal. The Reaperess, while being a melee-DPS style class, isn’t the same as a Berserker style character that does HUGE attacks. The Reaperess does a lot of smaller attacks in the same amount of time. So while a Berserker might hit for 10k damage in a single attack, the Reaperess will do ten or so attacks at 1-2k damage each. She also has a lot of abilities which will boost how fast she attacks significantly, meaning even more damage. And while I don’t want to spoilerize everything the Reaperess has to offer0 I will say that if you think her scythe is big now, just wait, you ain’t seen nothin’ yet.
Naturally with an expansion you would expect a level cap increase and you won’t be disappointed in The Ruined Empire. Max level has been raised from 50 to 57. It may not seem like much, but it works out well, and numbers aren’t everything right? What is the point of having 200 levels if you only get a new skill every 20 levels? I’d much rather have a lower numbered system where I feel like I’m advancing with each ding.
To correspond with those new levels, the fourth continent, Okapia, has been opened. It contains twelve dungeons ranging from level 50 and up. One really cool aspect of the new continent that I enjoyed was the fact that it is divided up between warring factions. This means each dungeon pretty much has a unique feel and collection of enemies to destroy. Sure, there’s some crossover, but there’s a lot of individuality there. You’ll go from fighting insectoid monsters in one place to more traditional giant humanoid enemies in a prison type area. And naturally each of the new dungeons can be played on all of the various difficulty levels from before, as well as the newly added ‘Hell’ mode. More dungeons is definitely a good thing because, as I noted in my initial review, things can get a bit repetitive going back to the same dungeons over and over, even if you do bump up the difficulty level.
There is also a new ‘Survival’ style mode in the game. You know the type, survive as long as you can against increasingly difficult waves of monsters. You are rewarded with Fortune points, even if you fail to make it through all the waves. You can then spend those fortune points on either items or gold.
But wait, we’re not done, act now and you can also get this special bonus: Skill Book System! That’s right, there is now a new system, using a collection of tomes looted from bosses or bought from tome traders. As you find these tomes, they will need to be identified initially. Once you have them identified and added to your collection, you’ll be able to equip them to increase your stats.
Overall this is a fairly well rounded and extensive expansion that brings a lot of good and needed additions to Continent of the 9th. Everyone loves a level cap increase. In fact, I’m always extremely disappointed any time an expansion doesn’t increase the max level in an MMO. It just feels like that is one of the main reasons for releasing an expansion in the first place. Seven levels added to C9 should take a little bit of time to grind through. All of the new dungeons will go a long way in increasing replayability and diversity in your play sessions. Sure, you’re still doing dungeon crawl after dungeon crawl, but now you can mix it up a little more.
I wish I had been able to play around with the Skill Books system more, but the randomness of loot made those fairly few and far between during my preview time with the game. My favorite addition by far though is the Reaperess class. She is just such a fun class to play. I’ve always been a fan of fast, agile type classes, and the Reaperess definitely fits this bill very well. The huge over-the-top nature of her attacks is amazing to watch. Her special abilities are even more incredible. If Continent of the 9th is your type of game, then The Ruined Empire will definitely be your type of expansion. It takes what you likely already love about C9 and body slams it into the next level.