First Steps Into the Indie MMO
Eldevin is a free to play browser based MMORPG from Hunted Cows Studios. Due out later this year Eldevin is currently in closed beta and it is expected to enter open beta within the next few months. Eldevin takes place in a 3D world where you have a third person top down view of your character. The WASD keys in this game are used to move the camera elevation and rotate the camera view. You use your left mouse to click to move like you would in most modern action role playing games (ARPG) and you use your right mouse button to interact with objects in the world. So far the brightest spot of Eldevin is the in depth character development.
There are no set classes in this game. Currently there are 6 talent trees with over 200 talents that you can choose from. You are also capable of learning over 100 different abilities. Want to wield a sword and fling fireballs at enemy imps? You can do that. In addition when your character levels up you are given a set amount of attribute points that you can distribute between Vitality, Energy, Melee, Ranged, Sorcery, and Focus anyway you see fit. This allows you to further develop your character the way you want to and not pigeonhole you on a predetermined path. The current level cap is set at 50.
Like most RPGs Eldevin is very story-driven. They currently have a few hundred quests in the game with plans to add more through consistent updates. The tutorial missions do a good job of explaining the game systems to you and after about a half hour of play you will start to feel like an old pro. Eldevin also has the standard pop culture tie-ins that have become a staple in MMOs. When you first learn your fireball spell and meet an imp in the void he will reply to your greeting, “Bana wi grana wi nini bon.” Which is very close to the Transformers universal greeting, “Bah-Weep-Graaaaagnah Wheep Ni Ni Bong.” Eldevin also has gathering, crafting, fishing, and reputation systems. All things you have come to expect from a modern MMO.
All is not rosy in Eldevin however. The game in its current state feels like it would be better suited for a mobile platform. If this were on iOS or Android, like some of Hunted Cow’s other games, I would be singing its praises to everyone I knew. Instead I’m left wondering, “Is this the best they can do?” Perhaps the most disappointing feature in the game now is the viewing area. There is not an option to play the game in fullscreen. You end up using less than half of the viewable area on your monitor. Recent patch notes suggest that this is a problem that Hunted Cow is aware of and working towards a fix (it is a beta after all, though not under NDA).
While it is still too early to call, I see promise in Eldevin. With a free to play business model and the ability to run on very low end computers the barrier to entry for this game is almost non existent. As long as you have an active internet connection you should be good to go. If Hunted Cow keeps listening to player feedback in beta and makes appropriate changes they could end up with a little Java gem. It will be interesting to see how this game evolves over the next few months.
Robert Lashley / Robert Lashley is a Staff Writer and Online host for MMORPG.com and RTSGuru.com. Rob's bald and when he isn't blinding people from the glare on his head talking in front of a camera you can chase him down on twitter @Grakulen