First Impressions - Aiming at Hardcore PvPers
Sphere 3: Enchanted World is the F2P sequel to Sphere, the first client Russian MMORPG set in a classical high fantasy world. The original and very popular game was brought to the world by venerable games studio Nikita Online in the early 2000s with an action PvP small party combat-style game known as Sphere 2: Arena in between. With Sphere 3, Nikita returns to the IP’s roots, both gameplay and story wise, and I took it out for a spin in the hopes of providing some impression for those who might be interested in trying it out.
INTRODUCTION TO SPHERE 3
For those who may not know much about the game, here is a brief overview of what you can expect upon launching Sphere 3.
Sphere 3 was released worldwide on December 2nd for desktop download or via Steam. The download is relatively small, with easy recommended specs. While the graphic aspect of the game cannot be called top notch, the picture is still quite pleasant to look at.
The game offers a variety of 4 races (humans, dwarves, elves and demons), though only 2 are currently playable, and 9 classes, which are gender-locked.
The existing classes are:
The game has a non-target system somewhat similar to TERA and promises a “full set of PvE pleasures”, such as plot written by a Russian fantasy writer Alexander Zorich, dungeons, raids, world bosses and special cooperative missions, taking place on enemy faction’s territory, resulting in battles against other players in order to complete the objective.
However, despite the promises of elaborate PvE, game’s focus is set to PvP, mostly taking place out in the world. There are three types of locations - peaceful, neutral and PvP. In order to attack other players of your faction on a neutral territory, you need to manually turn on PvP mode. If you have played LineAge, the PvP system will be very familiar to you down to PK status and karma you get from kills. Another nostalgic aspect are the massive sieges of the castles that clans can take on.
While admittedly not on par with Black Desert’s, character customization offers a variety of choices on facial expressions, hair styles, skin colors, tattoos, etc. One of the drawbacks is the fact that classes are gender locked. However, it seems possible to play the class you want with a gender you prefer if you’re willing to choose a different race.
Anyone with any MMORPG experience will feel right at home in Sphere 3: Enchanted World upon logging in. Due to non-target system it might take a bit to get used to controls, but the tutorial helps in that regard. A huge issue in the game as it stands right now is the delay between performing an ability and seeing the effect take place. For example striking an enemy can take up to 2-3 seconds for the damage to show.
I have spent only a few hours in the game with a low-level character, traveling from hub to hub, picking up a huge amount of very bland quests and never running out of mobs to kill or stuff to pick up. The developer promised there would be a 1000 quests that can take up to 600 hours to complete and there seemingly are just enough, however, that doesn’t make them really memorable.
But while quests are a nice (and necessary) addition, they are secondary to the game’s true focus, namely PvP. My character’s level and gear was not enough to take part in dynamic PvP battles, it’s obvious that as a former Lineage 2 player I’d find a lot to like in what castle sieges, world PvP, duels, etc. offer.
Overall, Sphere 3: Enchanted World is an enjoyable, but forgettable MMO for PvE players, but one that will doubtless appeal to hardcore PvP enthusiasts. If you’re a PvE player who enjoys fast-paced non-target combat with pretty graphics there are better games out there like WildStar and TERA. However, PvP players missing the old days of WoW’s world PvP or Lineage’s castle sieges might find something appealing in Sphere 3.
Have you tried Sphere 3 or are you planning to? What are your thoughts?