I'll admit it; I was excited for The Chronicles of Spellborn. The graphical style, the combat, and the classes just had me intrigued from the beginning. Right from the start, Spellborn was a rich world that would attractan audience. If they were skeptical about it, they would discuss how it wouldn't be executed correctly, or it would never come out. Those faithful prospective players that followed the game have found that the final product has a lot of what they were expecting, and that's more than a lot of games can say.
I'll get my complaints about Spellborn out of the way first:
For starters, I'm not sure about Spellborn's character creation. On one hand, I like it a lot. There are two very different races: the Humans and the Daevi. The Humans are your basic ordinary humans, nothing special here. The Daevi are a demonic looking race born of magic. You can choose from around twelve hairstyles and five variants of faces. Also, you can choose your body type, meaning that you can be anywhere from skinny, to fat, to super buff. In my opinion, being able to choose between the different body types on humans adds a lot to the character creation while the Daevi seemed to me to just add more veins. On the other hand, the hairstyles aren't anything to call home about. Of the twelve human male hairstyles I had at my disposal, I didn't like any of them. I just chose one that looked decent. Maybe others would have more luck than me. To balance this out though, Spellborn allows you to choose from a large array of gear to customize your character with in the beginning.
My other complaint is that every time you make a new character, you have to go through the tutorial. For those of you that like to have alts, beware. The tutorial is almost mind numbing. Be prepared to walk into a lot of glowing orbs. Thankfully, there's been discussion about fixing this issue and allowing players to skip the tutorial. What can I say, it's a short list. Now it's time to move onto the redeeming qualities of Spellborn.
First, is the game's beautifully executed combat system. Spellborn is a combat-oriented game, no ifs, ands, or buts. At the core of Spellborn beats the heart of battle. Every battle feels like you're in control. Every swing and action you make is something you've decided on. Everything from hits and misses, to your skilldeck, to the order you learn your abilities. If you miss, it's because you actually did not connect your attack, not because the monster is higher level than you, or because you're fighting a monster who has a high evasion stat. If the monster misses, it's for the same reasons. If you're fighting a wolf, and it goes to bite you, you can jump out of harm's way. Spellborn leaves the battle in the hands of the player.
Next, come the classes. Every class seems to have a specific role, and no two classes are the same. There are three archetypes: Warrior, Rogue, and Spellcaster. Each archetype has three subdivisions.
For example, Warrior has the Bloodwarrior, which uses scars for combat. Sound weird? It is. See, the scars allow the Bloodwarrior to either link to a friend or a foe. Then there is an array of abilities the Bloodwarrior can use. For instance, if they link to a friend, they can absorb some of the damage that person takes. Naturally, these are the main tank class of Spellborn. The Bloodwarrior. Each class has a gimmick that is as unique as the Bloodwarrior's. For the Warrior classes, the Adept uses stances and the Wrathguard uses spirits. The rogues have the Skinshifter, Trickster and Deathhand. The Skinshifter is interesting in that it can transform into different forms for travel purposes. In animal form, the wildlife won't agro to them. Tricksters use traps, mechanics and bombs as their main form of attack. Deathhands are deadly in that they use poisons to incapacitate and kill their foes. Spellcasters are home to the Ancestral Mage, Rune Mage and Void Seer. Ancestral Mage is a pet class. They get many different types of pets for the different situations they encounter. The Rune Mage uses tattoos to enhance their magical power. Their main focus is powerful Area of Effect damage. The Void Seer is a complete counter mage. They're made to lockdown the enemies they're fighting and keep the party alive. The classes that a game offers are an important part of my choosing an MMO, so the variety was one of the main selling points.
Questing is clear, easy and a great way to level. As with a lot of the modern day MMOs, it's the fastest way to gain experience. Spellborn has two types of experience points: Fame and PeP. Fame is what allows you to progress through your levels, whereas PeP (Personal Experience Points) gives you buffs as you level it up. As you would imagine, it levels up quicker than fame levels, but if you die, you lose a level of PeP. So if you were to die multiple times, it could be a little disastrous. Full PeP isn't required, it's just nice to have. But dying and losing a PeP level is most unfortunate. And that leads me to in-game death. It's very basic, you die, you respawn at a respawning point. The only detriment to dying is the loss of your PeP, so be careful with it.
The last thing about Spellborn I wish to discuss are the houses. They're not quite the houses one would think I would talk about. I'm talking about High Houses. Spellborn has High Houses which are political entities in the game. Each house has their own views and objectives but they currently don't have any impact on your character other than lore. It's basically just a meaningless faction you join as of now. I assume there will be a lot more High House content added in the future. The idea is too good to just leave alone.
Currently, Spellborn is a diamond in the rough. For as great as the ideas and execution are, it's still unpolished as a whole. It's going to need a lot of work before the game truly begins to shine in the eyes of MMO Gamers.
Spellborn has the potential to become one of the great classics people play and talk about for years, or it could fall into obscurity. It all depends on how it's handled by the developers. It is my sincerest hope that it garners a lot of attention and becomes a mainstream game, but the only thing that will tell is time.