Rising from the Ashes
Phoenix Dynasty 2 is an old school MMO undergoing rebirth in the hands of Turkish developer and publisher Ntroy LTD. Originally developed in China, Ntroy has purchased the game and has been working through test phases over the last year preparing it for full release. In addition to their core Turkish audience Ntroy is also working on English and other language versions and have just launched a global server on Steam.
The game lore is set in a mythical Chinese world with rife with political intrigue and of course the forces of demonic evil poised to inflict ultimate destruction. Players build their guilds battling evil, and each other, for power and glory. This translates into a guild based open pvp game where players can siege, run and raid trade caravans, and battle boss monsters to advance and gain position.
Character creation is very basic and the first reminder that this is an older title. There is no customization other than the class choice and name. The game has five classes with preset genders: fighter (f), guardian (m), sky mage (m), crimson mage (f), and healer (f). I chose the fire based Crimson Mage because the spell lineup looked promising for area effect monster farming.
One of the first things I noticed is the English translation is still very rough in spots and nonexistent in others. It was a problem with a few skill and gear descriptions and made following the story either impossible or very painful, but it didn’t stand in the way of gameplay much.
The game has many of the standard MMO systems like crafting, gear enchanting, and skill progression. Skill progression is a basic and familiar gold sink. As the character levels they can purchase new or better versions of skills and spells for gold. It’s pointless in the early levels at least. Maybe later it branches off or requires some choice, but I didn’t see it by level 22.
Gear enchanting is a little more interesting. There are two main aspects to gear progression, infusion and enchanting. Infusing the gear piece unlocks stat and combat bonuses while enchanting increases the power of certain stats within that gear piece. A gear piece becomes fully infused when all the infusion tiers are unlocked. This wasn’t too hard, and I did it for several pieces of gear over the time I played. I’m uncertain if enchanting has a cap, but it is much more of a grind and effort to enchant an item past +4, not unreasonably so, but it is a much bigger time sink compared to infusion.
The components required for infusing and enchanting gear drop readily from mobs which makes playing around with the system fun. It’s not too fast, but they drop often enough that my wasteful mistakes in learning the system didn’t hurt too bad. It made for fun goals outside of earning experience and leveling.
Questing and mob farming in the game is mainly done through an automated botting system. Each quest has location link that can be clicked which will autopath the character to the destination, NPC, or monster group. Quests boil down to NPC interaction and very simple kill or click events. Once the character arrives at the destination they will open the NPC dialog or start attacking mobs.
Combat can work either manually or through the botting system. The player can set when health and mana potions are automatically consumed. The bot only uses the basic attack, so the trick is to balance mob toughness with potion settings, so your character doesn’t die while not wasting too many potions. This adds a new RPG simulation-like dimension to the game offering a lot of flexibility in play.
Enchanting and empowering gear is also fun with two different upgrade paths. There is different quality of gear drops and those must be unlocked and enchanted to gain power. The power ups drop from mobs so the farming sim-bot activity fits in well with collecting materials and baubles for that purpose.
While I wasn’t sure what to expect from a once dead title being retooled to fit an unfamiliar demographic halfway around the globe, the idea was intriguing. NTroy has listed the game as Early Access on Steam, but unlike many titles using that same moniker, they have a clear outline of their development pipeline and what they want to accomplish to reach full release and they’ve outlined it on the store page. The goals are reasonable, and the team is very communicative with their players, sharing a lot of concrete information and inviting feedback. You can read more on their Steam Store page or the announcements page on their website.
There is a whole lot to experience in Phoenix Dynasty 2 that I didn’t get a chance to explore or try out. The primary focus of the game is pvp and there are plenty of activities for competitive play including trade caravans and sieges. Players can also fight in the open world while farming mobs or bosses. For those interested in an old school PvP MMO, check it out and see if this is your social niche.
Note: Our copy was reviewed on Steam using no gift codes, boosters, or purchases of any kind (it was played totally free).