Maestia US CBT – good art meets pretty bad programming and mechanics


I’m rather often, pretty randomly getting in different testing and evaluation
tests ( don’t ask how, I have no idea). This time it’s Maestia: Rise
of Keledus US CBT which ends today, 22 June. Well start was pretty
bad. Second day of testing started with one angry company team member
politely stating, that we are useless ****, this CBT is total fiasco,
where a hell we came from and that no CBT would be better, than this.
Sad thing, that he used words pretty close to these.

Well he had all rights, because no one was posting in forums. It looks like
in this case you are supposed to write bugs etc while testing, not
submit after tests. Different companies have different approach (
well they didn’t stated that anywhere really). So I being a person to
try my best went to forums and FAILED miserably, or was that I who
failed…

  1. Game portal account is not the forum account (really? A?)
  2. When I pressed Register, they took me to page stating, that I’m already logged in

So in the end I didn’t receive skill “Get registered in forum lvl 1”
And that’s why I’m writing my report here, and that’s why it is
pretty sad. Excellent service till this point 😦 Nothing better to
come.

Good thing is that this game looks pretty good. It’s better looking than a
lot of other games and has pretty good location design. You could be
sightseeing for days there if only locations would not be restricted
by lvl, meaning that you can’t really do that anyways.


If not count art and design things go down pretty rapidly. Well we could
even start with graphics stuff. Water looks pretty amazing for MMO,
with exception that there are no reflections for spells, enemy and
stuff like that. That’s probably price for this game running on Max
settings very smoothly and without significant framerate drops. It’s
probably at least normally optimized, what a lot of companies doesn’t
do (buy normal PC, if you can’t play FYL).

Now lets start with other problem types.

Pathfinding. As the person who said that we are
useless stated “there is one and it’s enough. Only lazy people
use it”. Yes there is one, but be ready for avatar going to
next point it expects to need to go, find out that no path can be found further, return to previous point and try different route. Well that’s not really so
important that it does that 1-2 times in longer paths. Better effect
is when it fails to find path and enters in try loop and after 5 secs
of blinking screen reports that path was not found. At least it stops
trying. That’s good. Two of such places is near bridge in Delphi and
this ther place near fireplace.

Same goes for moving by clicking with mouse – this normal feature uses
this same path finding algorithm and some other, I will write about
later. So be ready for pain or use WASD. Second thing – move
restriction. This game uses pretty strange system for restricting
where you can move and where you can’t go. In a lot of cases it’s
frustrating, because you assume that you could go there without
problem. Here goes some examples.

Guess what – you can’t go in between tree and bridge. Cool?

Don’t even think about going around that tree on top, it’s not empty space,
there is something invisible. Not mentioning that you can normally
only go down 😀 in no way up this path.

Well I would not expect to be able to go up there, but you can. Trick is
that you can’t go straight up, but you can easy go there in angle,
like if character would now go straight. Path finding by clicking
mouse of course can’t go there up and reports “Path too far or
area not accessible”. That’s pretty bad, it at least should
find path around to that point, but no, it fails totally.

It is really frustrating to find out where you can go up and where no.
There is no real true marker for that. Only real way is to never go
off the road, if there is one ofcourse.

Better try to not go close to any models/objects or you will stuck to them like
fly stuck to flycatcher, well at least you can jump away, most of
the time at least. So beware of the mighty totems of charcatcher 😀

But maybe these elements work for enemy dark forces, because it looks
like enemy can disable any physics and make you shake of fear by
going through walls of hard rock. They are probably really dark
elements of this world.

Well maybe not. Going through walls probably is pretty normal thing in
this world. It’s not too hard to see how camera enters wall or takes
you in yourney to the center of the earth, where there isn’t really
anything interesting, nothing from what was written in that good
book.

So be ready to most of your time while moving to be making camera be
somewhere, where your character is visible or you will be mostly
seeing closeups of mountains. Like these:


If you are enough lucky, you could even be killed by some mobs while changing
camera position. It was kind of better working with WASD, but then
once more and more times it failed same way.

It looks like there are more strange things than this. Invisible walls I
mentioned previously about tree and bridge, they exist when you cast
spells too XD.

This LOS (Line of sight) system is really good, I like it, but sometimes
what it says world is like, doesn’t really look like it in real world
– these plates aren’t enough high to stop fireball. Yes you
can’t go there with sword, that’s totally right, but mage do not need
to go to enemy. It’s even more cool when enemy is behind these plates
like in next case, when it’s in corner. This is one of cases when one
thing does not work for every case.

Did I mention all basic technical aspects… Oh right I forgot –
people it’s 21’st century, there is this thing called threads, you
can load things in one thread and display what you display in other
making it look good and not freeze for 2-3 seconds multiple times while
loading ( I’m not talking about people whose pc is not as fast as
mine. (2X 2.7GHz, HD @ 10K rpm, 3GB ram))

If you are enough unlucky to have slow pc or to have killed your pc with **** than there are some additional cool effects. First – mob die sound is repeated multiple times. Second – objects not fully loaded and loading in after moving from location to location. Some animation problems like looped animation or mob not disappearing right after death. But seriously – thats when I set pc to like 1GHz. Mobile phones have better processors 😀

I seriously didn’t see any graphics glitches at all. That part was running smooth as chil… well good 😀

So now comes the gameplay part. Lets start with dialogs. I love how they
show them. It is a bit like in VN games. As such story is above
average, which is better than a lot of other games where there is
none almost ( well some lines in start of game). But there goes the
problem – there are 2 ways of playing – you press skip
once twice and so for some 10 quests or you read them. Difference is
like 1-2 hours for reading, so if you want to fastly lvl up and be on
same lvl as others, you just need to skip. And why not, there is no
single thing that would make need for reading, what you read –
no one ever asks you anything from what you read and if you answer
wrong to any question well, dialog just starts from the beginning,
like who cares to even try to be right.

Did you lvl up faster than story goes, who cares that NPC you see first time
in your life says that is happy to see you again. You don’t really
need to do first 10LVL or 25LVL quests if you magically got to LVL
25, which, because of total RvR disbalance is pretty easy. So be
ready to skip most of the time if you want to keep your mind
Clean&Clear (no advertising intended 😀 ) I did tried to read
every single line ( because it’s supposed to be “testing”)
Some of errors I found:


Just person is stated as one who says the line. There is probably
more, but 1 week isn’t enough to inspect every single line and word.
I think there was something wrong with how Herba was called in some
dialogs and I think there were some misspelling I didn’t took
screenshots of ( really good thing that I can easily do that ingame I
didn’t know from start. And something was wrong with 19 LVL golem
fight dialog end.

Oh, please allow accept quest and other dialogs by enter? I think I couldn’t do
that and it was annoying. It’s like you need one moment to play with
mouse and second with keyboard and that’s not fun at all.

Nothing more wrong with dialogs on my mind. Well except mobs attacking while
talking to NPC, but I would not state that as error, more like a
thing it’s supposed to be like this, if wasn’t intended to be
different.

Same goes for pet system – there is none. Well it’s good enough without
it anyways.

Well from reading forum ( I can read, yippi, but can’t write 😀 ) zombies are
really famous in this game. Well not really zombies. There are no
zombies in this game right? I don’t really know but there are undying
mobs like this beautiful one who knows what…


Oh and it’s really strange to see that in one party same Mercenary is
available at the same time. Please, at least not in same party, well
who cares probably anyways. If I started to mention mercenary please,
make them enough smart to use mount, it’s annoying to wait for
mercenary sitting on mount while it comes from middle of map, when
you are already in side.

Fighting system of mercenary is pretty average – more control over
attacking strategy would be good. Smarter AI too. Too many times
mercenary just from every mob there is selects the boss and happily
dies, well taking you with him, from hands of angry boss, or all
party, if you aren’t alone – select something you can kill man.

Talking about party – soulbound items – please no more or at
least in dice game give winner item it can use. What’s the point from
warior’s item mage has, which he can’t nor trade, nor sell, nor
send, nor use, just throw away – what’s the point of that.
Someone? Or at least give more than 10 seconds to choose after door
opening scene ( or any other) ends to choose whether take it or not.
Talking about these scenes – stop mobs while showing these
scenes. It’s not nice to die while it’s being played. You can cast
spells but if you don’t see on who?

Well it’s not really so much of a problem, but why no auto targeting in
dungeon. It’s totally messy when there are 20 elements to click on
and to click on enemy your team is currently surrounding and which is
somewhere.

Selecting anything works fairly bad. It’s like 1/5 of times you click on ground
somewhere where boss is standing, not on enemy you were trying to
select. It would be good to highlight current target you will select
by clicking with like red border or so.

Nice feature would be “!” mark on mobs you are supposed to
kill. It’s fine when you have 1 quest, it’s awful when you have 20 😀
That’s starting to be a standard in MMO so don’t miss the train
people.

The whole mount thing is almost useless – just make character run faster
if mount doesn’t protect you from attacks of mobs while moving. It is
useless when you get attacked – character stops running and
stands while dies. If you just go, it continues to move as it’s
supposed to.

Stacking “slow down” effects is pretty bad, that means if 3 enemy
attack, you just can’t move anymore and not so slowly die in deep
pain you don’t really feel sitting on your couch.

About interface – don’t reset place where elements stand on screen
resize. Now if you resize game window, all elements go to the default
place where they are by default. For example RvR gauge goes back
right to that place where it is on enemy/friend status info elements,
so you need every single time to move it somewhere else. Can’t it be
put like in right top corner instead.

These sloved down animations of health gauge looks cool, but you die before
it gets to the middle of animation. You can’t really see how much
life you have left after attack of enemy while gauge is slowly
decreasing. (well you can even resurrect before it goes to 0) It
should go there in Max a sec.

Scaling of UI to lover resolutions work pretty bad – chat box goes over
the ability tree (one you unlock from lvl 25 and it like enhances
your character) button so to upgrade ability you need to either move
chatbox or use shortcut key. Can’t we just minimize chatbox? Well
that would be pretty useless in most of cases.

Sometimes in first 2 days if you go against like 4-5 enemy on you, game like
froze, music playing, but picture not changing. Sometimes even music
started to fragment.

Now about mechanics and balance. Bad. Bad. Bad.

Well first of all your character without potions is almost useless. You like buy
100 for single dungeon for 8K gold of both, so its like 16K.
Regeneration is like no one cares, like these characters can’t
regenerate at all.  Well I didn’t really had any problems with mana – 10 -15 shots in row with no problem but health is problem, becouse you can’t really pray in middle of batle.

There is this buff, when you get +10% magical/physical hit, and it costs 12K
for lvl 1 and lvl 40, so that means it’s pretty useless when you
start and is getting more useful with time, but couldn’t it just be
LVL*multiplier=price, so everyone gets good effect not just those who
have something to increase for that money.

Average it feels like everything is in uselessly high prices.

Need to confirm that you bought an item in auction you already paid for feels pretty useless and annoying, what for?

And RvR –there is something pretty wrong with it if lvl 1 character in one
match can lvl up to lvl 13, to like 20+ in next and so on. In this case – what’s the point of doing any quests (except some
important) at all if you can just do some arena matches and get to
like lvl 30+ in one day just by that?

There needs to be like option to kick out people from RvR who just <AFK>. Seriously? Same goes for ones stupidly running to die. It’s  faction battle not who dies more times and makes whole faction loose becouse of that. It’s not god damn PvP. There should be like minimum ratio – like a half of average of kills/deaths alloved before leaving.So if everyone is dying then it’s fine, but when other people are thinking strategically ones just dying are kicked out.

These animals should be of variable lvl so like 20 lvl in 1-10 lvl range and so, and should be killable, so that people behind them need to protect them and heal.

The most not funny hing probably was this in middle of RvR match:


So this game isn’t really ready for release and should have a lot more
testing, I was kind of trying to be in match so didn’t run JIT
Debugging and inspecting of failure.

There are like these packages, you can click on and receive items. You can
upgrade these packages by guessing which button to press – left
or right. It’s really fun, but these packages are pretty useless,
because a) you can get random item for different class, you have no
use, well sell only, and you have no real use of upgrading it because
it’s no use to have +20LVL item. It would be a lot better if instead
of like 40LVL item for 20LVL char you could choose to get 2 lvl 20+
items and set class for which you want these items. Same goes for
stones. No use in upgrading to lvl 4 because you will not be able to
use this item, on other hand 2 previous lvl items would be good thing
to go for. Well that’s probably problem only if you have 80% guess
ratio and it’s not problem to get 43 LVL items in 40 LVL limited beta
😀 for low lvl character of different class.


If we talk about ingame events – Find moderators or GM event was fun. It’s
where you need to find GM hiding somewhere on map. Well of course
best chance to win is limited to being close enough to the place in
first hand but fun in any case. Being first ofcourse is the most fun
part.


Talking about GM. I don’t know about others like randomly being AFK in time
of events like “Fight with GM” but person behind Cronus
is one person deserving only the best in his (is it he… yes, ok )
life. Not only he has time to talk to players but he even switched
lvls so I could try to fight with my lvl 27 character. Fight was
hilarious. First he was like killing me without a doubt, then I put
him to sleep, prayed, fully regenerated and killed in few blows, damn
I didn’t take victory screenshot, could print it out and put on wall
of MMO moments ( well I don’t have one…yet? ). That was really fun,
thanks Cronus you made that midnight rememberable, best wishes to
you.

Invasion of city would be more fun if you would not receive death penalty of
EXP otherwise it’s better to not put your nose too close there or it
will be cut off in a sec.

Otherwise if to mention like really fun things like cool skill you can get by
using your Wisdom, which is called “Holy meditative levitation”
and requires only lvl 1 char, but lvl 75 Wisdom


and being able to walk under water with no problem as if these people
wouldn’t need to breathe…do they?…


This game is pretty good and I would suggest everyone at least try it and
see can you fall for it. I had pretty much a lot of fun time (which
you will not get when there are 1M players, which is reason I mostly
play only CBA/CBT/OBT games not released ones.) This is half a
review, half a error list, but last test is yet to be done –
whether company needs player opinion or this cbt is really just a
fiasco for tick in must do list created by project manager or so as
previously mentioned person stated, and here go prizes – for
programmers – fuuuu, and designers – you are good, and
(kneel) for Cronus.

Other systems like crafting, guild – are there and work pretty
normal. This was puu…reporting from…no better Sakurai reporting
from/to Maestia:Rise of Keledus US CBT. OBT coming in start of July
as I understood.

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About janiksxxl

An INTP, uncompromised one. Lazy programmer, strange writer, terrible artist and really strange person protecting its place in the world. Wanna be author of in development social interaction simulator G.A.K.U.E.N.:.Eden's last garden
Šis ieraksts tika publicēts FaI izstrāde. Pievienot grāmatzīmēm tā pastāvīgo saiti.

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