The Pride of Taern is a new browser based game from a company called Whitemoon. You may not have heard of them since this is actually their first and only project so far. It's in its closed beta phase and mixes elements from single player games in the setting and storyline.
The beginning phases start like any other; you're tasked with picking a gender for your character, a name, how your character looks, and what class you want to be. The character creation for the game seems to affect mainly the portrait for the player which others can see by clicking on the player and viewing them. It is rather basic in the setup, but does offer a fair amount of options for you to modify; eyebrows, eyes, nose, mouth, hair, head, and facial hair. The hair color is controlled by three sliders for red, green, and blue which gives you quite a bit of freedom in terms of changing the colors. As for class selection the game has a whopping seven classes for you to choose from. The presentation for these is rather nice as they also tell you the stats you need for each class and the pros and cons of each.
Starting out in the game's tutorial makes the game feels rather like some old school RPGs. You start out in your home with your mother who is getting harassed and you need to stop the attackers. After that you're tasked with looking for your younger brother in the war-torn city which is littered with bodies and enemies who want to take you out. Early on you do get a hint of how the game will go as you're able to talk to multiple NPCs with several choice options which don't seem to affect the game that heavily, but does give you a bit more options with your quests. For example an early one is a man who is gravely wounded from the invading forces and asks if you will put him out of his misery, you're able to grant his wish, or run away due to not being able to do it morally. After going through the rest of tutorial you're able to make it through the tutorial you're taken to a new land which other players have escaped to.
Questing in the game brings the same type of choices as you're presented in the tutorial and brings them into the main game. Throughout it you're able to make more moral choices such as stealing from others for another person, doing quests that may put you in danger, or even negotiating with people for others benefit. This is quite refreshing from the standard go and kill x amount of an enemy or gather x amount of items. So it is nice to see this change of pace and hopefully this will be a bit contagious for other developers. Quests didn't actually feel like the main way to level as it does in some games, as I found it easier to just go out and grind a short time than doing the actual quests in game. The best things from the quests however seem to be the items you get as reward.
Combat in the game is rather straight forward; it is easy to learn but to master it you would need to play around a bit. You're given AP aka Action Points to spend when fighting. These points are spent on two different forms of action. The first is defensive, when setting up before battle you're able to invest some into defensive for melee, range, or mental. Depending on the type of enemy you face, you may want to put more points in one and forsake one or more. The second is for the actual action points. You're able to set up moves and invest up to four points for each attack or skill. So you have the option to spread it across a lot of weak attacks to take something out to a couple hard hitting attacks. While investing in a few hard hitting skills may sound good at first, looks can be deceiving, because while you have the ability to dodge skills, so does the enemy, and believe me they will. I had more than a few run-ins that ended up making my character die because the enemy was able to dodge a lot of my attacks and turned the battle around. Now death is another issue entirely, since you can die from a quick mishap or enemies that start getting luck with dodges, you obviously start to wonder what you lose, right? Well when you die you're presented with Death and you're given several cards to try your luck to see what you will lose when you die. This varies from losing a little gold to experience, from there you can lose more gold or experience or even an item as well. So if you're rather unlucky, die a bit while getting used to the game, and pick the wrong cards, you can end up with a rather bad day that may change your perspective of the game.
PvP elements in the game do exist in the game and players are able to attack other players out in the field, there is also arena combat in the game. The risk of being attack from other players seems rather low as I have run into several players who were up to ten levels higher than me and nobody tried to attack me. In fact the general populace seems rather nice to each other and tries just talks to each other normally in the global chat.
Gamer Type: Casual and Hardcore
Verdict: Looking good
The game is actually pretty fun so far, the settings make me feel nostalgic for old school RPGs I used to and sometimes still replay. The combat is fairly easy to learn, but bad luck can strike and make an easy battle turn sour, so not all battle experiences with the same enemy types are the game. The game can get a bit frustrating for some in that regard, because a high death count with no visible way to save your gold from being lost can get frustrating fast.
Self Introduction From Author:
|I have been playing mmos since about 1999, and haven't stopped since, and I cannot even remember when I started console/pc gaming. I'm an avid gamer who does dive back into the real world from time to time. My all time goal is to start my own business, but that is taking a side step as I am going through college.|
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