ZAM gets hands on NEOWIZ's in-development, eye-scorching MMO
I chose the Paladin class; a mace and shield wielding juggernaut of mettle and magic and started swinging.
The first three abilities provided included two basic mace attacks and a long cast heal. The tab targeting format is tried and tested and combat overall was very familiar to any MMO player.
It was difficult to really gauge what the ebb and flow of battle will feel like at launch as two major components – active dodge and active block – were not available. As I said, this is a game early in development, but what was obvious was the smoothness of the animations, the splendor of the spell effects and the level of on screen chaos available at all times.
The visuals were quite spectacular, my favorite being an AOE holy light blast that went off like a nuke with a sunny disposition. The design on such effects is superbly implemented, as the explosion is impressive and satisfying while not impeding the view of what is going on around you. I never felt confused by the fireworks.
The synchronicity of the different abilities was easy to pick up and I was soon razing the ground with my mix of furious physical attacks and bombastic magical offense. Some like-minded individuals and I came together to face off against the first mini-boss – found wandering among the shambling skeletons.
We dispatched the brutish horror with a little effort and our first couple of quests were complete. I checked with the NEOWIZ team who confirmed that mobs are not locked out and experience and objectives are shared, something any right minded MMO should be doing since Guild Wars 2, in my humble opinion.
The starter armor given as a reward for each of the hand-holding beginner quests was very eye catching, the Unreal 3 engine flexed its muscles effortlessly as the sun glinted off the ornate breastplate and gauntlets I picked up early on – the depth of customization being something that the devs were effusively excited about but, again, something not quite ready for us to take a look at just yet.
With the first sequence complete it was time to hop on the local transport to reach the next area, the preferred method being on the leathery wings of a wyvern.