When I first started playing Twin Saga I didn't really know what expect because it isn't a game I had been actively following. As an Anime MMORPG it holds onto a fairly niche market in the MMO world and I hadn’t played any of the previous Anime inspired MMOs. What I found was an interesting game with easy to learn systems, beautiful artistry, and a ton of content to dive into. Honestly I’m probably going to keep playing this one because it’s been a blast. Even though the game is in open beta right now the devs have said there won’t be any more wipes before they go live with the full release. Which means, there really is no good reason not to check it out.
First thing first, let’s talk character creation which is a bit basic. There are a fair number of options but players can’t really customize those options down to really achieve a unique look for themselves. Personally I liked the slightly more restrictive character creation options because I get a bit overwhelmed by too many options, but players who like to work for hours to craft their perfect toon will probably be a bit disappointed. Even so more options would have been nice, especially for hair color.
At first class options are limited to Swordmaster, Mage, Gunslinger, and Dragonknight. The other classes are Cleric, Paladin, Hunter, Rouge, Berserker, and Occultist; these are unlocked individually by attaining certain levels or completing certain quests. At first this really annoyed me because I really liked the sound of the Berserker and I didn't want to have to make a whole other character just to play that class. However, Twin Saga features a system where players can play every class on one character which makes the initial locking of classes less frustrating.
The multiclass system in Twin Saga is done really well in a few notable ways. The best thing about it is I didn’t need to back track to level my other classes. My character had a character level which is independent of my class levels, so while I only had one level in the Mage class my character was still be level 13. The only thing I was missing out on were talent tree points, which while nice wasn’t a huge deal. Also I was able to switch classes whenever I wanted to outside of combat, which was fantastic. Not having to pay gold to switch up or having to talk to a specific NPC was fantastic.
Leveling itself isn't too bad for most of the process, but near the upper levels it got exponentially slower. Right now the level cap is 65 and from level 1 to 49 it was really quick. On average I gained a new level every few quests, which though nice often left me feeling underwhelmed because very few of the levels seemed to be much of a change. The real issue reared its head at level 50 when all of a sudden leveling slowed to what seemed like a crawl and it immediately made things feel less fun. It’s not that the amount of experience required to get the last 15 levels is too much but more the increase is too sudden. It’s not a huge deal but is definitely something which was surprising and is worth being aware of… Especially when more levels are added in the future.
One of the things which sets Twin Saga apart from other MMOs is quest text and dialogues are written in the same style as stories are written. There’s a lot of narration included which not only filled in about the people and things around my character but also expressed her feelings to me. Occasionally this lead to some confusing messaging, for example in one dialogue my character was described as feeling annoyed was shown with a heart floating over her head which was just odd. For the most part these descriptions added another level of enjoyment and I really like the way they went with it.
The one downside is this style of writing does lead to there being a lot of text to read through which can be a bit frustrating when you’d rather be running around doing things. This was especially evident when I would go through a whole long dialogue, turn in a quest, and a whole other long set of text and dialogue would immediately start up again. Plus, many of the tutorials are done through this system where a NPC will tell you about how something works. I had a couple of moments where I got frustrated by all the text and just started to skip through only to realized I’d skipped through and important explanation of something. It’s probably mostly due to me getting used to everything being voice acted and I am just not used to reading that much in a game, but there were definitely times where all I wanted to do was to go do anything else in game.
All of that said I would highly recommend reading everything because the localization team did a brilliant job on the writing itself. There are a number of idioms which popped up unexpectedly and were pretty fantastically placed. Additionally, there are a number of word choices which are a bit odd not because of how they are used but because they are words we don’t regularly come across very often, and it’s nice to see these words pop-up. A few of my favorite examples are flocculent, compunctious, skedaddled, caballero, and corpulence.
Cutscenes are a slightly different story because there is VO in all of those, except right now all of the VO is in Japanese only with English subtitles. As someone who loves to watch Anime and generally speaking I prefer watching it in Japanese with subtitles, this didn’t bother me very much it had a more authentic Anime feel to me (especially because I’m pretty sure I recognized some of the voices). However, the Devs have said they will have full English VO available when the game launches fully so if reading subtitles is a deal breaker wait for the full launch.
One of the areas where the localization was maybe not as strong is in ending dialogue and quest windows. I’ll use an example of one of the early side quests which I came across to illustrate this issue. Early on I met a fisherman who needed some fish delivered to a local innkeeper, which sounded simple enough so why not. After I told him I’d help the option to end the convo was still “cancel” which to me seemed like it would drop the quest instead of just closing the window. This issue was further complicated by the fact he still had a “!” over his head, the quest didn't appear in the tracker, and the dialogue option to accept the quest reappeared. Essentially if you don’t notice your character (behind the text window) had a bag on her back you’d get caught in an infinite loop talking to this one fisherman.
Combat in Twin Saga is pretty easy to get the hang of and honestly for the majority of the leveling experience I never felt in any sort of danger out in the open world. There is one main toolbar where your skills go and they use the 1-10 keys by default. As a character levels they gain more skills and if you do multiclass you can also unlock skills which you can use no matter which class is active at the time. This gives the ability to customize your combat experience depending on what classes you choose to pursue.