If you have a knack for some old-school dungeon and sandbox MMO fun, you really should check out Eldevin. With a recent launch of Steam, the game is better than ever. It’s a mix between a sandbox, a linear questing game and interesting virtual world. The game features a top-down look that makes many comment about its similarity to the very popular RuneScape. In fact, people often refer to RuneScape when describing Eldevin, but I’m not so sure about the connection.
Yes, Eldevin is a top-down sandbox with linear emphasis like RuneScape, but Eldevin has less clutter and noise in it. You might want to compare Eldevin to Ultima Online as well, but Eldevin seems to have more warmth -- more heart -- than the classic UO. Eldevin might be closer to a World of Warcraft or other linear themeparks but boasts sandbox-like character creation and exploration. You’ll find yourself spending much of your time working through fantastically fun questlines while also tweaking the perfect loadout for your character. You will probably also spend a lot of time crafting or cooking. You’ll even interact with crafting stations that is, for lack of a better word, cute.
If this sounds confusing, that’s because Eldevin is a very unique title in today’s market. It has old-school charm, interesting lore and questing and wonderful do-what-you-want character building. The community seems willing to help newbies, and the recent launch to Steam means that there are some good deals for in-game goodies.
You can play the game for free -- to what point, I am not sure of yet -- or can spend money on items in the game’s cash-shop and with optional subscriptions that provide bonuses. I’ve yet to really need to purchase something, but I love the game and plan on supporting it very soon… as soon as I decide what I want. The mounts look nice. No, the bag space. No, the vanity armor…
I asked for an interview from the fine folks at Hunted Cow studios, makers of Eldevin and other interesting games, and they quickly answered my questions.
MMORPG.com: Recently Eldevin made it to Steam. As an indie, how would you rate the process?
Hunted Cow: Coming to Steam was a really exciting and challenging process for us. Having developed the game in the browser, we had to convert huge parts of the game engine. Once the hard work was done on our side, working with Steam was actually a pleasure, their staff were unbelievably helpful and finally seeing our game on the front page of steam was extremely rewarding and satisfying.
MMORPG.com: Has the Steam involvement raised your visibility? The game seemed pretty busy already but you said you had to add servers to accommodate all the new players?
Hunted Cow: Steam has been great for us in terms of visibility and also in helping to grow the community. We've enjoyed having many new players in the game and we've received huge amounts of feedback, so we're using this to help focus our development team and get out more content and features developed that our community wants. We did have some extra servers available at the Steam launch however we've used the data we gathered at this time and improved our infrastructures so each server can now handle more concurrent players.
MMORPG.com: How would you describe Eldevin? I typically call it an open-world themepark. It has linear quests but so many sandbox options!
Hunted Cow: When we sat down to create Eldevin, we felt that to do this we needed both great lore and story but also loads of options for players. That’s why we wanted to have customizable combat and tons of skills and sandbox-type activities for the players to engage in. We really feel the game has something for everyone. The game has been out for just over a year now and we've improved and developed many of the features we had since launch and we're already working on more! It's been non-stop here in the studio and we can't wait to get more content live for the players in the new year!
MMORPG.com: What is the best thing about Eldevin, if you had to choose?
Hunted Cow: I'm very much a gamer who loves experiencing new dungeons and bosses, so if I had to pick, this is what I'd choose. Currently we have 11 group dungeons in the game and 3 more in development. Dungeons are also a really fun part of the game to develop, as they test both the designers and players creativity.
MMORPG.com: What are some of the challenges of working in the browser? I know you released a "client" but, looking back, do you wish you would have gone a different route?
Hunted Cow: Working with the browser really confined us in the beginning, we had to design much of the game and user-interface around this constraint. We also had to endeavor to keep file sizes such as music and textures small as certain browsers have limits on the amounts of RAM Java can use. However, as we move forward this has left us in a great position as new players can join the game on Steam and be playing almost instantly as the client weighs in at a little under 50 megabtyes! We've already improved a ton of the game since moving to a downloadable client and hope to continue to do this in future updates.
MMORPG.com: Can you give me a hint about what players might see in the near future for Eldevin?
Hunted Cow: We're working on more content, dungeons and features. We plan to increase the level cap again, and allow players access to more talents and equipment. In addition to this, we are also working on adding Guilds. You can stay updated via our Development Blogs which are available on our main website every month. We'd like to thank all the players who have tried the game so far, and we're very keen to hear your feedback and we're ready to take Eldevin to the next level in 2015.
Thanks again to Hunted Cow for their fantastic MMO Eldevin. The game reminds me of why I first got into MMOing; not because of graphics or the promise of adventure as much as the promise of living in a breathing, real “virtual” world. Next time you’re in game, sit down at the tavern and you’ll smile at all of the little details, including the waitress who walks over, takes your order and brings your food on a platter!
You can play Eldevin directly in your browser, as a download, or through Steam.