Soulworker at Gamescom, What’s Coming in 2018?
Ever since it launched back in February 2018, Soulworker has been a staple of my own MMO roster. While I love Guild War’s Living World, and the WoW hype train continues its relentless journey, I’ve been slowly cleaving my way through Soul Dregs and battling off Ned Company experiments in Soulworker. The fluid combat systems, the instanced dungeons, and let’s face it, the anime aesthetic made this way more than just another otaku cash grab. Now, Gameforge has unveiled the game’s biggest update. While you might have to wait until 6 September to follow the Soulworker’s latest exploits, I had a whirlwind tour and hands-on preview of the latest addition to Lion Game’s MMORPG.
Not Your Average Summer Camp
Starting in a brand-new city, the million-plus registered players on Soulworker will gain access to a whole set of new dungeons on 6 September. Grasscover Camp is a brand-new leap for the Black Forest League, and a new city hub, as they step out of the human world into the void. This is a distorted vision of the world where the world isn’t what we expect. Physics just don’t seem to work correctly, the world is bathed in a purple hue, and the last remnants of humanity are torn asunder. Players taking the fight to the enemies of humanity will find eight new dungeons available, split over two episodes. Each of these encounters comes in three difficulty levels meaning that, for the completionist, this makes for 24 variations, filled with a host of new NPCs and quests to level through.
Stepping into the Void also means that you’ll need to level up significantly. The current level cap will increase as far as level 60 with a few special new additions for my own personal choice, Haru. The upcoming release marks the game’s very first-class advancement. The game’s very first-class advancement quest opens up, for Haru, at level 57 and unlocks a whole new set of abilities. Players lucky enough to wield Haru will gain access to one new passive, 2 masteries of existing active skills, and a brand-new ultimate ability. This new ultimate ability is a further evolution of the game’s existing hysteria mode and when we jumped into the new dungeons, it proved to be everything I could have hoped for.
On logging into the Grasscover Camp, I found a set of dungeons that are fairly typical for anybody that has played Soulworker before. Desolate cityscapes and deserted theme parks play host to a range of colorful enemies that are variations on a familiar theme. Despite this consistency, the residents of these challenges are no pushovers and it is worth noting that taking on these enemies won’t be a total walk in the park. Haru’s most impressive new ability is, however, more than enough to take care of the trickiest scenario. Upon completing her class advancement, Haru carries an entirely new sword and bashing the ultimate ability twice allows Haru to channel her emotion and dual wield. For a short time, Haru gains the ability to dual wield both her swords and explodes into a furious rampage of moves, which you can view in the teaser trailer below. While this dual wield ability is formidable, it is short lived and plays out a set of predetermined attacks.
Haru might be the very first Soulworker to gain access to her class advancement, but she is not the last. This update includes the first in a series of class advancement updates that Gameforge intends to ship throughout the rest of the year, and into 2019. Starting with Haru, Gameforge aims to follow the Korean game’s basic release pattern, opening up Lily’s class advancement later this year, and completing the line up through a series of regular intervals. Each of the characters will gain a similar set of enhancements, none of which are intended to skew the balance of power particularly. When I raised this concern with the team at Gameforge, they noted that the new skills and advancement will still require players to distribute the same amount of skill points as Lily, Stella, or any other Soulworker has to hand. The intention here is to provide diversity without significantly impacting the player population.
That balance of power and character population is going to be significant as the year progresses and Gameforge drops a brand-new primal raid into the mix. Shortly after players take their initial steps into the void and complete Haru’s class advancement, Gameforge aims to drop a brand-new primal raid. Gameforge has confirmed that while they cannot give us exact dates for the raid itself, they are planning to introduce it sometime in September, the same month we step into Grasscover Camp. These future raids will be sandwiched between future class advancements and, as above, the intent is to follow the Korean release cadence. This should provide plenty of time for those of us that need a little help, to get to level 60 in preparation for the newest raid without leaving the best Soulworkers with nothing to do.
While my tour of the void was brief, I cannot wait to take on Soulworker’s newest challenge. The extra skill diversity, dual wielding, new maps, and a steady release schedule of new content all mean that Soulworkers will have plenty to keep them occupied in the immediate future.