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GDC 2012 Preview

Michael Bitton Posted:
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gPotato is revving up to release a new free-to-play dungeon-crawler MMORPG titled ‘Eternal Blade’ sometime this year, and we were on hand at this year’s Game Developers Conference to check the game out.

Eternal Blade features six classes, including the newly unveiled Thief, and only a single anime-styled human race. Each class is gender-locked as well, though we were told the developers may be looking to add male and female versions for each class. So far, the gender ratio on the game’s class roster is pretty much all female. Character creation is fairly simple as far as these games go. Players can select from a number of different hair styles and faces and not too much else, similar to say, Dragon Nest.

As in games like Vindictus and Dragon Nest, players will launch into their adventures from a variety of different hub cities. However, not everything is a straightforward dungeon run. There are a number of open field areas connected to each hub city that players can explore and complete quests in.  

Combat is your standard fare MMO combat, though you can select from isometric or traditional MMO style camera settings, which also alters your combat controls. You mostly click and move to get around the game and the default controls are more similar to a game like League of Legends than an MMO. The hotbar was defined for Q W E R and A S D F for my main set of abilities, for example.

We grouped up with the developers and took on one of the game’s dungeons. Our task was simple: stop a mad scientist who was apparently conducting some dangerous experiments. Clearing our way to the boss was a simple affair, though the actual boss fight itself was a bit more than a tank-and-spank. The scientist initially had a shield up, making him invulnerable. The mad scientist would also summon a number of creatures to attack us and defeating them would cause them to drop an explosive barrel that could be picked up and thrown at the mix makers in the back. Destroying the mix makers took out the scientist’s shields and from there we pretty much blew him up since we were playing on the lowest difficulty.

PvP is also an option in Eternal Blade, though only in the form of duels at the moment.  Challenging someone to a duel will teleport you to an instanced arena where you’ll be able to fight without any interference. The arena system will also bolster you to provide more of an even keel. Currently, the only rewards for PvP are a number of titles that can be shown off to other players. If this sounds underwhelming to you, gPotato reassured us that the developers do have plans to expand on the game’s PvP offerings by the time it ships. For example, the developers are looking to add control point style PvP, similar to StarCraft’s ‘Aeon of Strife’ mod. Later on, World PvP will also become a major focus of Eternal Blade, though we weren’t able to learn much in terms of specifics.

Eternal Blade is currently undergoing localization for the Western launch of the game sometime this year. gPotato plans to conduct a closed and eventually open beta before the game launches, so stay tuned to MMORPG.com for news on that front!


Michael Bitton

Michael Bitton / Michael began his career at the WarCry Network in 2005 as the site manager for several different WarCry fansite portals. In 2008, Michael worked for the startup magazine Massive Gamer as a columnist and online news editor. In June of 2009, Michael joined MMORPG.com as the site's Community Manager. Follow him on Twitter @eMikeB