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E3 2006 Preview

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We learn about the Chronicles of Spellborn at eFocus on the eve of the show

At the eFocus Party Tuesday evening at E3, we were able to sit with Barry Hoffman from Chronicles of Spellborn. Despite having loads of people at the booth, Barry was able to give us a quick look at the game and allowed me to create a character and run around in the arena. Spellborn is shaping up as one of the more solid games coming out of Europe this year. It was set for release in April, but was pushed back to revamp the combat system. The changes we saw tonight look to be bringing the game play and fighting to a higher level.

I got the chance to go through the character creation screen and see all the options. The great side of the game is that players can choose their look and armor up front. There are a lot of options for clothing and armor to customize things right off the bat. Loot does not have an impact on how your character fights. It is all based on your skills and play style.

The artist who designed the game’s look has done a great job giving a strong and sleek look.

Despite not having a crafting system, players will still be able to make personalized weapons. Characters can piece together weapons and token items - which come from questing - to create their own epics. The best part is that you will be able to name your weapon. Obviously this will take some time to do, but will be worth it for players heading toward the end game. You can also trade it off to other players in the game and your weapon will live on.

The combat system features a rolling bar which moves quickly as you go through moves. Each time a skill is used the bar turns and gives you another set of options. The system was revamped and is going through balancing now. Skills are set up to boost damage, add buffs, and heal you.

Every class has some form of healing which helps move groups along and slow the wait time for a healer. The “Oracle Disciple” is one class that will be the most focus healer class in the game. This class will be part of the mage group of classes we will see soon.

We did get a chance to talk about questing in the game and Spellborn has some different ideas on how quests will be run. Sure you will have your standard fighting and finding things. The Ancestral quest that Barry showed me was a running race up the side of a mountain. Not only do you have to get there as quickly as possible, there are creatures attacking you and trying to debuff you all the way up. There is a giant snake like mob that you have to trick into chasing you up the side of the mountain. Once at the top some NPC wizards will help you to trap him inside. Again this is one of the Ancestral quests so you are sent back in time to run the race. Once you come back to the present, you can go to the mountain and see the beast chained and captured.

Currently the game is running on European servers but there will be U.S. servers as well. Barry allowed me to fight in the arena and go through some of the combat. It was moved well with no lag and quick action. Spellborn other neat innovations include having your own statue in the game world if you accomplish some major tasks. Thanks again Barry for taking time at the party to chat with us.

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